UGANDA

 
Published: Saturday 15 December 2001

After two decades, the rhinoceros is on the comeback trail in Uganda. Two southern white rhinos have arrived at the Entebbe wildlife education centre as part of a project financed by the World Bank to restock the country's national parks.

The pachyderm's return to the nation carries forward the steady recovery of the species in Africa, where poachers drove it to near extinction in the '70s and '80s. The relentless hunting of the animal had begun during the British rule. It is prized for its horn, used as an ingredient in Chinese medicines and to make Yemeni daggers. Uganda was earlier the only region in east Africa that was home to both black and white rhinos. While the former were found on the White Nile's western bank, the latter could be seen grazing in the east. Locals are welcoming the move, with rhinos being seen as a symbol of the recent stability and resuscitation of their country after 30 strife-torn years.

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