At least 20 northern white rhinos, the most endangered rhino subspecies, have survived the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Four babies have been born since the conflict abated in May 1997. Congo's Garamba National Park contains the world's only remaining northern white rhinos. An estimated 27 to 30 rhinos lived there in 1996, up from 15 a dozen years earlier.
The latest count, made from the air, identified 20 adults, including seven females and the four babies. "This is great news," researcher Kes Hillman Smith of the Garamba Project told the Associated Press. "This shows they can reproduce well in their natural habitat. The important thing is to be able to give them adequate protection."
The Garamba Project is a joint conservation program led by the World Wide Fund for Nature and Congo park authorities.
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