Mandela, the black rhino, will be released into the wild


with mother Bashira

Mandela was born January 1 2015 and now at the age of 3 he will have the oppurtunity of living in the wild in Rwanda

Mandela the black rhino

to be released back into the wild

For the first time, a black rhino born in a Scandinavian zoo, is sent back to nature in order to rebuild and preserve the species in their former territories.

'When Ree Park started working with the black rhino years ago, we were aware, that we were housing one of the world's most rare and sought after animals. Our big dream was, of course, to get the black rhino to thrive and multiply in Ree Park, and if it would ultimately happen that one of our rhinos would one day be allowed to experience being sent to Africa for resuscitation in the wild, the circle would be complete, says Jesper Stagegaard, Director of Ree Park Safari.

Karsten Ree, who bought Ree Park Safari, because his heart beats for nature and the work with endangered species, is also looking forward to sending Mandela back to the wild. 'It is important that we pass something on to the next generations. Imagine if they can also get the opportunity to experience the great giants in their natural habitat.’ Says Karsten Ree.

From theory to reality

Not so long ago, the talk of reintroducing of animals, born in zoos, to the wild, was something that belonged to the theoretical part of history, but the development in the wild and the continued decline of many species unfortunately reality has caught up even with the wildest expectations. With approx. 5,000 black rhinos back in the wild, and poachers who kill 3 rhinos a day for the attractive horns, now is the time to act.

All, something that, for years now, could seem very far away, but nevertheless is now a reality in Ree Park Safari


New Year's Eve 2015 the black rhino, Mandela, was born in Ree Park, as the first of its kind in Scandinavia, and of course, the joy was great. The story begins in 2010 when Mandela's father, Thabo, arrives at Ree Park, just 2 years old. In 2012, the female, Bashira, arrives and it was love at first sight between the two. Rhinos are pregnant for 15-16 months, so the joy was great, when Mandela was born January 1, 2015

The happiness is even greater now in 2018, when the message that Mandela, with 4 other black rhinos, all born in captivity, is to form the basis for restoring the stock of black rhinos in the East African country of Rwanda. The country has been bothered by terrible ethnic cleansing and internal riots, but is now well on its way to recover and the restoration of some of the country's natural beauty is in full swing.

Mandela's new home

Akagera National Park in Rwanda is one of the places where peace and tranquility is now restored successfully, and nature can once againgrow wild. It is here, heavily guarded by rangers and protected by the Akageras sump areas, that Mandela will return within the next year and hopefully help build a wild popukation of black rhinos.

Mandela's journey starts in November this year, where the first stop on the journey to freedom is Dvur Kralové Zoo in the Czech Republic, where he will join 4 other rhinos. The journey to Akagera National Park is scheduled to take place in June 2019.


was born January 1 2015 and is now 3 years old

Mandela is the first rhino born in a scandinavian zoo to be released in the wild 


"'It is important we pass something on to the next generations. Imagine if they also have the opportunity to experience the big giants in their natural habitat. '"

Karsten Ree


has a nice temperament

Mandela is playing while mother Bashira is trying to rest

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