Instagram – June 26th, 2019

You may have heard about the incredible mission to relocate five black rhino from Europe to Rwanda’s Akagera National Park in the last week and @sophy_roberts was on the ground to witness it. Here’s what she had to say about the historical event and, just as importantly, the people who made it happen ❤️ #Repost @sophy_roberts with @get_repost
Today was a day of remarkable encounters – not just with the five Eastern Black #rhinos that flew in yesterday from Prague to #Rwanda to be released into the wild in the country’s thriving @akagerapark, but with the brilliant men and women working day and night to secure their future. These are unusual people: the vets, rangers, park director Jes Gruner, his wonderful wife Sarah, the cooks, washer-uppers, and quite possibly one of the most magnificent unsung heroes I have encountered in the conservation universe: Jan Zdarek, a Czech keeper. From the age of four, when he was growing up in the grey days of Communism, he dreamt of Africa. Aged 15, he got work at @safariparkdvurkralove. For the next 36 years, he devoted his life caring for rhinos raised in captivity. “You get into a dispute with a rhino, and they are able to forgive you. This makes them different to other animals,” Jan told me. He is with them now, comforting the rhinos as they get used to African soil between their toes for the first time: “Saying goodbye to them will be hard, but this is where they belong.” Never a truer word spoken. For more – see Instastories and @africanparksnetwork #onassignment #visitrwanda #onceinalifetime