Two more of Nepal’s rhinos left the NTNC Central Office premises late afternoon (on August 17, 2018) for the Tribhuvan International Airport, where a cargo plane awaited to take them to their new home, to the Shanghai Wild Animal Park in China. The rhinos, whose names are 'Soaltee' and 'Mitini', Nepali terms denoting a distinct cultural bonding of relationship and friendship, are the second pair of rhinos gifted by the Government of Nepal to the People's Republic of China.
The Hon. Minster for Forests and Environment (MOFE) and NTNC Chairman, Mr. Shakti Bahadur Basnet, and the Economic and Commercial Consular of the Chinese Embassy in Nepal, Mr Zhang Fan were at the airport to receive and bid good bye to the rhino pair. Earlier on June 12, 2018, the Rt. Hon. K.P. Sharma Oli, Prime Minister of Nepal personally gifted the first rhino pair to Her Excellency Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China Ms. Yu Hong in an event organized at the NTNC premises.
Aged between 1-2 years, all of the four rhinos gifted to China are from the Chitwan National Park (CNP)—home to the second largest population of the greater one-horned rhinoceros in the world (605 rhinos). Before flying to China, the rhinos were kept in a pit boma—special rhino shelters—for care and observation at NTNC's Biodiversity Conservation Centre (NTNC-BCC) in Sauraha, Chitwan. Over the next two weeks, a team of five veterinary doctors and technicians from NTNC and CNP will accompany the special duo to facilitate with caretaking tasks while also assisting officials at the Shanghai Wild Animal Park for their best upkeep.
Positive word about their safe landing and sound adaptation has already come in from the Shanghai Wild Animal Safari Park.