Trying to raise the number of rare rhinos

May 13, 2009 7:35:23 AM PDT
A wildlife official says East African countries have agreed to collaborate to increase the black rhino population and help boost tourism in the region.

Kenya Wildlife Service senior scientist Benson Okita says the countries plan to increase the population to 3,000 by 2039, from 709 at present. Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda aim to do this by working together on anti-poaching programs and scientific research, says Okita.

The black rhino is only found in eastern and southern Africa. It is labeled as one of the big five, a category of must-see animals while on safari.

Rampant poaching in the 1970s and 1980s decimated its population from a high of 65,000 across Africa. Southern Africa now has a population of 3,600 black rhinos.

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