Kigali — The government is holding exclusive negotiations with Kenya and South Africa in an effort to restock the now extinct Rhinoceroses, The New Times has learnt.
Spearheaded by the National Office of Tourism and National Parks (ORTPN) the negotiation process running at a bilateral level involves Kenya and South Africa's Ministry of Tourism.
"It is true, we are holding serious talks with our counterparts in Kenya and South Africa to make sure we restock Rhinos, which have become extinct in our National Parks," the ORTPN Director of Wildlife, Fidel Ruzigandekwe told New Times in a telephone interview on Thursday.
Cagey to divulge into details of the monies the government would spend in the process Ruzigandekwe expressed optimism that the country would easily replace its dead wildlife.
Ruzigandekwe said the fruits of the two week process would enable Rwanda easily restock her National Parks with Rhinos from at a fair cost.
He also hinted at the likelihood of procuring other Rhinos from Tanzania, an East African state rich in wildlife.
"On top of Kenya and South Africa we hope to start talks with Tanzania as soon as possible to see whether we can also get some Rhinos from there. We decided to involve Tanzania because most of the extinct Rhinos that we had in our National Parks were from there," Ruzigandekwe said.
The development comes in the wake of the death of Rwanda's last Black Rhino, Diceros Bicornis Michaeli, which was recently found dead in Akagera National Park.
According to a release signed by the ORTPN Director General Rosette Chantal Rugamba, field staff reported that Michaeli (Rhino) died in the Kirara Plain in the prominent Akagera National Park.
The incident was confirmed after a team of game officials was allegedly sent to the 'death spot'.
In September 2003, an operation to search and locate Michaeli in the Akagera Park was carried out, after which it was identified, immobilized and equipped with a radio transmitter in order to help in her regular tracking for monitoring purposes.
The tourism body claims the investigations to establish the cause of its death were underway.
"We identified the dead Rhino after two weeks surveillance in the Park and its body had decayed. But, we are sure that the investigations will viably establish the cause of the death," Ruzigandekwe said.
Asked whether the animal might have died as a result of the carelessness by ORTPN and game rangers in the monitoring process, he dismissed the probability.
Instead, he said the tourism agency suspected that the animal could have died of natural causes.