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African Parks has confirmed that 30 endangered white rhinos have been relocated to Rwanda from South Africa.

The charity organisation, headed by Prince Harry, said that wildlife veterinarians had to sedate the animals to keep them docile while they were transported in a Boeing 747.

“We had to tranquilise them to reduce their stress, which is itself risky, and monitor them,” African Parks CEO Peter Fearnhead said.

The aim of the translocation, the largest single transfer of the white rhino ever undertaken, is to extend the range of the animals and to secure new breeding groups in Rwanda.

IOL reports that the translocation was carried out through a collaboration between the Rwanda Development Board, African Parks and andBeyond, with funding provided by the Howard G Buffet Foundation.

According to the South African National Biodiversity Institute, the white rhino is also known as the square lipped rhino and is the largest living species of rhinoceros. It has a wide mouth used for grazing and is the most social of the rhino species.

The white rhino has been classified as near threatened due to widespread poaching for their horns, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature reports.

Image credit: Al Jazeera

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