The white rhino is one of many endangered species that are on the brink of extinction. That's why South Africa's John Hume founded his Platinum Rhino Project in 2009 and invested more than $150 million in rhino conservation and breeding. Thanks to his efforts, this project has grown to his 2,000 rhinos, which is his 15% of the world's total population. However, by 2023 Hume's funds had dried up and he reluctantly had to auction off the rhino in April. A period of time passed with no bids made, but eventually, the NGO African Parks stepped in and purchased the rhino, much to Hume's relief.
Although African Parks has acquired the entire breeding program, their goal is to eventually release these rhinos back into the wild. "The most important thing is to find a protected area that is large enough and safe from poaching," he said. Mike Knight, IUCN Technical Group Chair. “The Department of Conservation is pleased that African Parks can provide a reliable solution for this important population and provide an important lifeline for this near-threatened species.”
This project will take approximately 10 years to complete. “We will release these rhinos into well-managed, secure areas over the next 10 years to establish or replenish strategic populations, thereby reducing risks to the future of the species,” African Parks said. explain. "This is one of the largest continent-wide rewilding projects ever for a species."
Poaching remains a serious threat to white rhinos, particularly in South Africa. Through these intensive conservation efforts, we hope that Hume's rhino population can be safely released into the wild and continue to thrive in its natural environment.