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TAIWAN OFFERS JAPAN AN ENDANGERED RHINO TO HELP SAVE SPECIES

A zoo in Taiwan agreed Tuesday to give a Japanese zoo one of its female white rhinos, which will make the journey to Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo next year, Kyodo news agency reported.

Representatives from Leofoo Development Co. and Tobu Railway Co. inked the agreement at a signing ceremony at a Taipei hotel. The ceremony, which coincided with World Rhino Day, was witnessed by Kuo Chung-shi, secretary general of the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association, and Mitsuaki Hoshino, the chief deputy representative of Japan's de facto embassy in Taiwan, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association. 


Hoshino revealed in his opening remarks that the four-year-old female rhino named Emma is scheduled to travel to Tobu Zoo and Amusement Park in March next year. Her partner-to-be is a two-year-old white rhino at the zoo named Moran. 


Lulu Chuang, chairwoman of Leofoo Tourism Group, said Emma will be sent off to Tobu Zoo to help improve the genetic diversity of the endangered white rhino. "This exportation is only a beginning," she said. "We hope many more countries will join the effort in the future." Emma was bred at the Leofoo Safari Park in Hsinchu County, northwestern Taiwan. Since the park brought eight white rhinos from Africa in 1979, their number has grown to 23. Sean Wu, head of the zoo's animal management department, told Kyodo that Emma was chosen because of her young age and small size, which makes transporting easier.



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