Six thousand animals were donated by Wilfried Pabst, owner of Sango in the Save Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe, to the Zinave National Park in Mozambique on June 18.
This is the start of one of the largest wildlife translocation projects in Africa. The animals will be relocated from Zimbabwe to Mozambique over a period of three years to restore the animal population in Zinave National Park.
The park is being developed through a co-management agreement between the Mozambique Government and Peace Parks Foundation. The development of Zinave is an essential component of Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA), which was initiated by the government of Mozambique and gained momentum with the signing of a renewable 10-year co-management agreement between the Mozambican National Administration for Conservation Areas and Peace Parks Foundation in September 2015.
The goal of operation ‘re-wild’ is to help develop Zinave become a tourist destination.
A further 500 animals will be sourced from Gorongosa National Park, where numbers of wildlife have been built up through the partnership between the government of Mozambique and the Gorongosa Restoration Project.
Werner Myburgh, CEO of Peace Parks Foundation said: “Rewilding is a wonderful reverse to the decimation that is happening worldwide and Peace Parks Foundation is very pleased to be part of it. Restoring large landscapes and ecosystems is what transfrontier conservation in Southern Africa is all about and this is a very concrete example. We thank the donors for their tremendous generosity in providing animals to Zinave National Park and supporting its development.”
“This process is a beautiful and fulfilling task,” said Pabst, adding that “nothing shows our ecological success more than our gift of over 6 000 animals to re-establish the Zinave National Park in Mozambique.”
Dr Bartolomeu Soto, Director-General of the National Administration for Conservation Areas: “We are realising the dream that we started when our countries signed the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park Treaty in 2002. We are grateful to the government of Zimbabwe and the donors for their tremendous support for giving a critical protected area a second chance. In particular our thanks goes to Peace Parks Foundation as a long-standing partner and supporter of conservation and development in Mozambique.”