Video: Operation Flying RhinoHere is a video, shot by Green Renaissance, that shows critically endangered black rhinos being transported by helicopter. The helicopter is used for just a short portion of the rhino's journey to its new home. A sleeping rhino is suspended from the helicopters by the ankles. 19 of the critically endangered animals were moved from the Eastern Cape to a new location in Limpopo province. The project is part of the WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project.
WWF's project leader Dr Jacques Flamand says, "Previously rhinos were either transported by lorry over very difficult tracks, or airlifted in a net. This new procedure is gentler on the darted rhino because it shortens the time it has to be kept asleep with drugs, the respiration is not as compromised as it can be in a net and it avoids the need for travel in a crate over terrible tracks. Another advantage is that rhinos can be more easily removed from dangerous situations, for example if they have fallen asleep in a donga or other difficult terrain after being darted. The helicopter translocations usually take less than ten minutes, and the animals suffer no ill effect. All of the veterinarians working on the translocation agreed that this was now the method of choice for the well-being of the animals."
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Posted on November 12, 2011