When will the first group of rhinos arrive in Australia?

The team at The Australian Rhino Project is working closely with both the Australian and South African Governments as well as our own specialised team to manage the relocation. Whilst our goal is to ensure the quickest possible relocation process, we are ensuring that we meet all biosecurity and import requirements as specified by the Australian Government. We have responded to all of the questions and assurances that the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources require.



Where will the first rhinos live in Australia?

The rhinos will go through quarantine at Taronga Western Plain Zoo in Dubbo for a period determined by the Australian Government. After the completion of quarantine the rhinos will be relocated to the most appropriate areas to maximise breeding opportunities. The current plan is that the rhinos will be located at Taronga Western Plains Zoo and Monarto Zoo in South Australia. Both these locations provide open range facilities.



How are rhinos transported?

The rhinos will be transported to Australia by air. There will be a team of vets on the plane. During their quarantine period in South Africa, the rhinos will be acclimatised to custom built crates for transportation purposes. Once the quarantine period is complete, the rhinos will be loaded into the crates, transported to Johannesburg airport and then flown directly to Sydney. Transportation from Sydney airport to Dubbo will be via specialised trucks. Rhinos are slightly sedated during transportation to reduce stress. Vets will constantly monitor the rhinos during every aspect of transport and will also travel with the rhinos.



What does it cost to transport a rhino?

Rhinos are very large animals and can weigh up to 3,000kgs. By far, the biggest component of the total cost is the air transportation. Our estimate at this time is the total cost will be approximately USD70,000 per rhino. With the support of sponsors and generous donors, we are working to minimise these costs.



What does it cost to care for a rhino, ongoing?

Rhino feeding, security and veterinarian care is estimated at approx. $100 per week per rhino. The rhinos will be managed by teams of species experts who have exceptional experience and knowledge about managing rhino populations.



How are the rhinos selected?

Our goal is to establish a breeding herd of rhinos and therefore we need to ensure we have the optimum number of 'reproductive- capable' female rhinos. We will work with ZAA (Zoo and Aquarium Association of Australia) to ensure that rhinos are selected to maximise genetic diversity with consideration of other rhinos already in Australia.



How are the rhinos protected once they arrive?

The rhinos will be protected according to the security protocols of the host location(s).



What does my donation go towards?

Your donation goes to the costs associated with relocating and managing the rhinos. Our organisation operates predominantly with a team of volunteers and we try our utmost to keep overhead costs down so that the maximum amount of your donation goes towards the wellbeing of the rhinos. We have two paid project managers who work on a part time basis.



How long does it take to get the rhinos here?

Flight times from South Africa are between 11 and 13 hours to the east coast of Australia. Our aim is to minimise travel time and use the most direct route possible.



How will you ensure the safety of this rhino population i.e. on the ground and day to day/ are there any anti-poaching initiatives to be put in place?

The rhinos will be protected according to the security protocols of the host location(s).

Flight times from South Africa are between 11 and 13 hours to the east coast of Australia. Our aim is to minimise travel time and use the most direct route possible.



If there is a rhino poaching incident, and a rhino survives, what sort of veterinary experience will be available?

We are working with a team of world leading vets who have worked with rhinos and other wiildlife for many years in both Australia and Africa. We are fortunate to have such a highly skilled team as well as the research support from the University of Sydney Veterinary School. Likewise, we are in constant contact with the leading vets in South Africa and can seek their expert opinion if required.



Are there any local natural dangers to the rhino population?

The biggest threat to rhinos on a global basis is humans. A feasibility study led by a highly experienced curator from the Taronga Conservation Society supported by undergraduates from the the University of Sydney Business School in conjunction with global rhino experts identified no such risks.



What sort of judicial system is in place to protect the rhinos? i.e. if there is a poaching incident, and the perpetrators are caught, what will the consequences be?

The Australian legislation in regards to animal cruelty has harsh penalties for any type of incident and the Australian courts will prosecute and convict for such crimes. Under the Animal Cruelty Act (1979), penalties include both jail time and financial penalties. Prosecution against animal related incidents in Australia is of no consequence to international relations with China.



Are the rhinos black or white?

The project will initially be focusing on white rhino.



When will the rhinos be returned to Africa?

Our intention is to always return the animals to Africa when the situation permits.



Why can't we invest money on current conservation initiatives in Africa instead of taking rhinos out of Africa?

There are many programs that are working on education both in Africa and in Asia. In addition, there are anti-poaching groups, dehorning programs, protection groups and more who are all doing amazing work to protect and educate and they have our full support. Our project is just one initiative aiming to create an insurance population in a safe haven. The rate of poaching continues to grow, despite current conservation iniatives on the ground, and it is becoming more of a concern that if we don't act now there may not be any rhinos left to conserve in 15 years time. Not for one minute do we suggest that moving rhinos to Australia is the only answer. It certainly is not - however we feel strongly that it is one of many strategies that will ensure the survival of the species.

How Can You Help?

You can help The Australian Rhino Project in so many ways. If we are to achieve our goal of having a secure breeding herd of rhinos in Australia, we will require funding, so any donation that you can make will be extremely welcome.


News & Events

Ray Dearlove Steps Down

28/11/16 | The Australian Rhino Project team and board would like to advise that Ray Dearlove has stepped down from his position on the board and from the operational team of the Australian Rhino Project for personal reasons. Ray will remain a member of the organisation.

Read more ...

Featured Stories

"Your plan to create breeding herds of rhino in Australia sounds very exciting and I am flattered that you should invite me to support them. I most certainly welcome anything that safeguards the future of African rhinos which are now so desperately endangered. I most certainly wish you every success."     SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH

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