On 23rd August 2006, Uganda became the proud owner of two Southern white rhinos, which arrived in the country at 8.40pm aboard Martin Air, a cargo airline. The animals, which were donated by Disney Animal Kingdom in Florida, completed their 36-hour journey in good health. Apart from a few hiccups during the process of offloading the male and female rhino at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, everything ended well.
The male rhino, named Hasani, is 5 years old and weighs 1,500kgs while the female rhino, named Nande, is 7 years old and weighs 1,700kg. The new arrivals bring to six (6) the number of rhinos at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctually all of which will be part of the rhino-breeding program that is expected to restore these unique species in Uganda’s Protected Areas.
The first four rhinos arrived from Kenya in June 2005, and are already enjoying the lush pasture at the 7,000ha sanctuary. The two new arrivals are currently being quarantined in a boma at the sanctuary in order to monitor their adaptability to the new environment.
It is expected that between 15 and 20 rhinos will be secured in the coming years to boost the plans to re-introduce rhinos in Uganda’s wild.