THE Ministry of Tourism and Arts says it is saddened by the death of Lubinda and Romeo, the two White Rhinos which were hit by a truck in Mosi Oa Tunya National Park in Livingstone on Wednesday.
The ministry’s public relations officer Sakabilo Kalembwe – Zacks announced the death of the two Rhinos in a statement to #Kalemba.
“Romeo, a male juvenile and Lubinda, an adult female were killed by a speeding truck of Nambian registration Number N 12311 WB who’s drivertotally disregarded road signage and speed limits set in the national park,” Zacks stated.
Zacks the driver was currently in police custody and a docket had since been opened.
“At the time the rhinos were hit, the mother Lubinda was dragged on the
side of the tarmac while the calf, Romeo remained at the middle of the
sitting on its hind legs.
Efforts were made by park management staff to give treatment on sight and called reinforcement from the Victoria Falls Wildlife trust of Zimbabwe who crossed the border in the night in the quest to save the two members of the iconic species,” he explained.
Zacks revealed that the two rhinos had severe injuries and despite the quick response by the
veterinary team, they did not survive.
“Lubinda died a few minutes later as her injuries were severe and little could be done to save her life.Romeo suffered a suspected fractured spine and hind legs were paralyzed.
He died soon after being sedated for treatment,” Zacks further explained.
He noted that the Rhino species were completely wiped out during the poaching scurge experienced in the late 80s and early 90s.
“It is deeply saddening to lose two members of the breeding herd in such a manner,” he said.
Zacks said the ministry was in the process of drawing up legislation aimed at dealing with matters of road kills in national parks especially when high value species are involved.
He said the process would be in consultation with the Road Transport Safety Agency and the Ministry of transport and communication.