I’ve mentioned in previous posts that Phinda sometimes sends animals to other reserves, but never really said why.
It’s mostly to help with genetic diversity. Since Phinda is fenced in, new animals can only arrive with human intervention (except leopard, hyenas and wild dogs, they just ignore the fences). So in order to prevent inbreeding, it’s common for managed reserves to swap out their breeding males. They prefer to keep the females since that means they get to keep the offspring, like these super cute lion cubs hiding in the grass:
Population control is another reason to send animals elsewhere. For example, Phinda can support no more than 3 prides of lions. So those 2 males that we darted on my first day won’t be back filled.
Another reason is to increase the range of a species. This is especially true for rhino. Phinda is part of a couple of programs that reintroduce rhino to other areas of Africa where they were previously hunted out. It’s pretty exciting to help (hopefully) bring a species back to where it used to be! Check out this baby rhino, just 4 months old.