Serengeti buys 32 rhinos from South Africa MUGINI JACOB in Serengeti, 6th April 2009 @ 02:52 Serengeti National Park (SENAPA) is providing special security training to game rangers as part of its preparations to import 32 black rhinos from South Africa. The training is directed by experts from the South African-based African Field Rangers Services under the coordination of Frankfurt Zoological (FZS). Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) Director General Mr Gerald Bigurube last Friday closed the first round of the training comprising 34 participants. A total of 145 game rangers and some conservators are lined up for the training that started on February 23 and will end on July 3 this year, under the sponsorship of Grumeti Fund, an American investors firm which operates in Serengeti. Mr Bigurube described the training as important as far as the security of wild animals and safety of game rangers was concerned in the park. This training is important and by putting what you have learnt into practice you will be safe from enemies, Mr Bigurube said thanking Grumeti Fund for supporting the programme. SENAPA chief park warden Mr Martin Loibooki said the game rangers were mostly trained to carry out patrols on foot rather using vehicles as it been the case in the past. They are also trained on proper weapon handling, fire and movement, bush lane shooting, patrol tactics and black rhino monitoring skills, among other things, according to Mr Loibooki. Key conversation stakeholders based in the western Serengeti like Grumet Reserves, Ikorongo game reserve and Bunda based anti-poaching special unit have also been involved in the progamme. The black rhinos will be brought in our park but they might get out of the park and we expect our colleagues to help us, the SENAPA chief park warden said. Mr Loibooki hinted that the park would import a total of 32 black rhinos from South Africa by November this year. Purchase of back rhinos from South Africa is a five-year project that is estimated to cots 4.5 million US dollars; according to the FZS African programme chief, Dr Markus Borner. Dr Borner also lauded TANAPAs conservation efforts. TANAPA has become one of the most efficient conservation organization in Africa and it has set an example. We are here (Serengeti) to protect this area as national and international heritage, the head of FZS African Regional Office said at the same occasion. The TANAPA DG also urged game rangers in the park to be patriotic when fulfilling their obligations in the park, promising that the TANAPA would do everything possible to improve their welfare. Being patriotic does not mean your welfare will not be improved. Once the current economic crisis is resolved, well improve your welfare, he said. TANAPA will also continue giving women top priority on employment because they have been doing well, according to Mr Bigurube. Two female game rangers completed the first round of the training on Friday. Question: Who ate our rhinos? and why vifaru vya maskini hawazai?