World Rhino Day: Saving the last Northern White Rhinos

Kenya's rhino conservation efforts

There are five rhino species in the world. The black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan.

Kenya is home to the black and white rhinos. But the northern white rhino is the one most afflicted by human greed and negligence.

There are only three white rhinos in the world and all of them are in Nanyuki’s Ol Jepeta Conservancy.

The male, 44 year old Sudan, and two females Najin, 27 and Fatu, her calf. Sudan was named after his native South Sudan where he was captured in1975 and taken to Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic. In December 2009, he was moved to the Conservancy.

The norther white rhino was discovered in 1907.

In 1960, over 2,000 animals roamed the African wilderness.

From 1970, the species has been nearly wiped out due to poaching and war and now only three remain in the world.

“So there are three Northern White rhinos in the planet in total. All of them are past the point of being able to reproduce, so what we are really seeing and witnessing is the extinction of this species,” said Richard Vigne CEO of Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

The World Wide Fund for Nature estimates that up to 2,000 rhinos are killed each year for their horns which are valued at Sh309, 750 per kg.

Extensive efforts are being made to ensure the survival of the rhino which is crucial to the ecosystem.

Local people also depend on the natural resources within rhino habitat for food, fuel and income. As one of Africa’s ‘big five’, rhinos are a popular sight for tourists- which is an important source of revenue for the country.

By protecting rhinos, conservation of their habitat is for the benefit of the local communities and wildlife and preservation of natural resources.

The Ol Jepeta Conservancy is also going a step further to seek funding using a GoFundMe campaign for the research of artificially assisted reproduction for the northern white rhino. Details can be found on their website.

The loss of the rhino is one that is unacceptable because their extinction is being caused by humans. This World Rhino Day, take a step and help save the rhino.

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