British rhino dies on the brink of freedom: Rare male dies while being flown from British wildlife park to the Serengeti
- Seventeen-year-old Zambesi was to be introduced to as many as ten females
- This was to be at a Tanzanian reserve in a bid to boost the numbers of the species
- One-ton animal was born and raised at The Aspinall Foundation at Port Lympne
A rare male black rhino has died while being flown from Britain to Africa for a vital breeding programme
Seventeen-year-old Zambesi was due to be introduced to as many as ten females at a reserve in Tanzania in a bid to boost the numbers of the critically endangered species.
A different black rhino from a park in Dvur Kralove nad Labem, Czech Republic
The one-ton animal, born and raised at The Aspinall Foundation at Port Lympne near Hythe, Kent, had sired three calves in the UK and it was hoped he would father more on the plains of the Serengeti.
The operation to move him cost more than £250,000 and involved 200 people on two continents.
The Foundation’s boss Damian Aspinall said: ‘I am shocked and devastated by the loss. We do not know what caused his death.
We will carry out every examination to see if lessons can be learned.’