Each year deserving conservationists are celebrated and recognised by South African National Parks (SANParks) at the gala event, in partnership with First National Bank and Total South Africa. The prestigious Kudu Awards celebrates both internal staff members in the Chief Executive Awards categories as well as external stakeholders across various environmentally-focused categories.
The Special Team Effort Award was shared between various departments and parks – Marakele and Addo Elephant National Parks, as well as the Conservation and Veterinary Wildlife Services and Communications Divisions. These staff members were instrumental in the translocation of six rhino initially from Marakele National Park to Addo Elephant National Park in January this year, the care of these animals in Addo for nearly four months and their subsequent transfer to Zakouma National Park (African Parks) in Chad in May.
The arrival of the rhino in Chad marked the first time in 46 years that black rhino roamed the Central African country. Their translocation was achieved through a collaboration between the Department of Environmental Affairs, the Government of Chad, SANParks and the African Parks Foundation.
Unfortunately four out of six rhinos have died in two separate occassions over the past month, but not from poaching, says African Parks. Post-mortems and tests on blood, tissue and faeces have been sent to a lab in South Africa for testing to establish the cause of death.