I'm intrigued by the news that large African mammals are to be relocated to Australia in an attempt to save the species.
Eighty South African rhinos may soon be on their way to Australia in part of an ambitious effort to establish an 'insurance population for the world.'
The Australian Rhino Project, spearheaded by South Africa-native Ray Dearlove, plans to fly 20 rhinos per year between 2016 and 2019 to Australia, where they will make up a breeding herd to protect against possible extinction.
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Ultimately, Australia is serving as a secure place for the animals to live and breed - for now. If and when Africa becomes safe for rhinos again, the animals will be repatriated to their homeland - a feat that may not occur for generations, Dearlove believes.
There's more at the link, and at the project's Web site.
I have some misgivings about this. It'll be fearsomely expensive, for a start - so much so that the costs may be insurmountable. I don't know Mr. Dearlove at all. If I were still in Africa, I'd be regarding this proposal with a jaundiced eye, wondering whether the same investment might not make more sense closer to home, and achieve better results for the animals. Is it a boondoggle? Hard to say, from the information available.
The other intriguing aspect is what happens if African genes cross-pollinate, so to speak, with Australian ones. A cross between a rhinoceros and a kangaroo? A two-ton bouncer! What about a cross between a rhinoceros and a duck-billed platypus? I don't know what the offspring would be like, but I bet you'll salute and call it "Sir!" before you argue with it . . .