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Hope for declining white rhinos at Rwandan sanctuary

Samba Cyuzuzo BBC Great Lakes

White rhinos relocated to a Rwandan sanctuary last year are increasing in number despite a 12% drop in the species’ worldwide population over the last four years.

The 30 white rhinos were taken to Akagera National Park in Rwanda from South Africa, establishing the species for the first time in the country.

They are now “thriving well” and their numbers have grown to 35 after new calves were born recently, said Drew Bantlin, an official at the park.

“All calves are growing and healthy. They are starting to move widely with their mothers and are showing normal behaviours,” he added.

The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) says the global white rhino population continues to decline under pressure from poaching.

In the last four years, the numbers have shrunk from around 18,000 to fewer than 16,000, the foundation says.

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