Rhinos are among the most endangered species. Kenya is at the fore front in ensuring conservations of rhinos. President Kenyatta and Minister of Tourism Hon. Najib Balala have tried to curbed poaching by burning 105 tonnes of ivory at the Nairobi National Park and denied the request to legalize the sale of ivory.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy has two northern white rhinos, thirty southern white rhinos and one hundred and ten black rhinos. The Conservancy employs highly trained rhino protection squads, partners with international veterinary experts and ensures data is gathered regularly on each individual animal. We noticed rangers at least 20 meters away from each Rhino. This helps in tracking and monitoring to discourage poachers. Steps like these ensure that Ol Pejeta remians a role model for rhino conservation in East Africa. In a statement released in May 2018, Kenya’s tourism and wildlife minister announced their new “shoot to kill” policy for rhino poachers caught in the act. After inquiry, the ranger informed us that the policy still exists.
The wall of fame hosts Morani, Baraka, Max, Lola, Nabul, Rinbo, Sudan, Fatu and Najin.
Baraka is a swahili name meaning blessings. To reflect his name, he is the rhino ambassador to humans at the conservancy. Baraka was born in the wild in Ol Pejeta conservancy but lost both his eyes due to a fight and then a cataract. He lives in the 100-acre enclosure for his own safety as he now lacks the ability to defend himself in the wild.
Baraka can be fed from the specially designed feeding platform that borders his enclosure. When we visited Baraka was not hungry but we got a chance to get up close and personal with him.
Baraka in his habitat
Spot the difference between the black and white rhinos.
Ol Pejeta hosts the remaining two northern white rhino in the entire world. Najin and her daughter Fatu born in 1989 and 2000 respectively in captivity. They arrived together with Suni and Sudan on 20th December 2009. It was a big blow to the WWF and everyone that supports the preservation of endangered species after Suni died in 2014. The world mourned most Sudan when he passed on 19th March 2018 as he was the last remaining male northern rhino.
The Northern White and Southern White Rhino information board
In a bid to save the species, eggs were obtained from Fatu and Najin and artificially inseminated these using frozen sperm from deceased males in order to create viable northern white rhino embryos. The embryos will be transferred into southern white rhino surrogate mothers to create northern white rhino offspring. Our ranger confirmed that two embryo have been fertilized successfully. Reading on, there has been a successful two embryo creation in December totaling the number of embryos to five. The next stage is the preparations of the transfer of the embryos into southern white rhino females. A white male Southern North White rhino who has proven to be a breeder was transferred to Ol Pejeta Conservancy. He was sterilized through non-surgical procedure using state-of-the-art equipment. As a sterilized bull he will reliably indicate through his behavior the reproductive cycle of potential surrogate mothers without the risk of impregnating them. The team will confirm the success of sterilization in March 2021. After that, the bull will be constantly monitored to record whether his behavior indicates potential surrogate mothers’ cycles.
The whole world is involved to ensure that the Northern White Rhinos are not extinct. How are you involved?
“We must do everything possible to save this species from extinction. Remember, extinction is forever. Once we lose this species, we will have lost an iconic animal which will not be seen again by future generations,” – Hon Najib Balala says
Standing at the rhino cemetery and memorial. On 19 March 2021 we mark the 3rd Anniversary of Sudan since his passing.
Always keeping it