12 Apr 2016

Wild Australian rhino plan nears approval

4:07 pm on 12 April 2016

Adelaide could soon be host to 80 endangered rhinoceros from southern Africa in a plan to keep poachers from making them extinct in the wild.

Monarto open-range zoo south-east of Adelaide hoped to get its first of up to 30 rhinoceros in September.

The other rhinos would go to various zoos around the country.

Biosecurity and quarantine issues will be discussed in Canberra tomorrow.

Australian Rhino Project founder Ray Dearlove said staggering numbers of rhinoceros were being killed by poachers for their horns, and the plan was to have breeding herds in Australia as a backstop against their extinction in Africa.

"The biggest concern here with the Australian Government and the Department of Agriculture specifically is to ensure that there is no contamination in any sense of flora and fauna here in Australia - we're obviously totally supportive of that," he said.

Up to 1300 of the animals were being killed annually by poachers.