DAR ES SALAAM, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian authorities said on Friday they have planned to spend some 651,000 U.S. dollars in launching a black rhino tourism that will enable visitors to watch the endangered wild animals at close range.
The tourism promotional stint using the black rhino will be the first of its kind to be done in Tanzania, said Abel Mtui, the assistant conservation officer in the Mkomazi National Park, northeastern of the east African nation.
Currently black rhinos are being used in South Africa for tourism promotional venture.
Mtui said the Mkomazi National Park was in final stages of erecting an electric fence with a 1,000-square km-area where the black rhino will be kept, adding that tourists will be able to watch rhinos at close range beginning July this year.
He said increased poaching of black rhinos in the 1980s forced Tanzania to transfer some of its black rhinos to South Africa and the Czech Republic for their safety.
"Most of the rhinos were returned to Tanzania after concerted efforts to fight poaching paid dividends," said the official.
"After we had realized that most of the tourists wanted to see rhinos at close range we came up with this arrangement," said Mtui.
The 3,500-square-km Mkomazi National Park is located in northeastern Tanzania on the Kenyan border, in Kilimanjaro and Tanga regions. It was established as a game reserve in 1951 and was upgraded to a national park in 2006.