David Kerr, Senior Vice President Etihad Cargo, said: “We are proud to play this integral role in returning an endangered species to its home. Last year Etihad Airways became one of the first airlines to sign the Declaration of the United for Wildlife International Taskforce on the Transportation of Illegal Wildlife Products, known as the Buckingham Palace Declaration, as a demonstration of our support for preventing illegal wildlife trade – estimated to be worth up to US $20 billion today. As a key mode of transport for carrying this caught wildlife across borders, it is the responsibility of the aviation industry to take action to prevent this.”
Jes Gruner, Akagera Park Manager, said: “Together with the Rwanda Development Board and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, we have spent the last three years preparing for this historic event, ensuring that the park is safe for the arrival of the rhinos and for their long-term future so they can breed and thrive.
“Akagera has transformed since African Parks assumed management in partnership with the Rwanda Development Board in 2010, overhauling law enforcement and reducing poaching to an all-time low in just six years, thus making it safe to bring these eastern black rhinos back home.”