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World Rhino Day and Conservation

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World Rhino Day is celebrated on September 22 every year! This special day provides the opportunity for cause-related organizations, NGOs, zoos, and members of the public to celebrate rhinos in their own unique ways.

World Rhino Day activities vary from one participant to the next. Donors and partners are able to contribute to the organizations and initiatives of their choosing. Peaceful demonstrations, classroom projects, fundraising dinners, auctions and poster displays are just a few examples. During the annual event the world celebrates the five remaining species of rhinos including white, black, Sumatran, greater one horned, and Javan rhinos.

The Day was first announced by WWF-South Africa in 2010. The following year, World Rhino Day grew into an international success, encompassing both African and Asian rhino species, thanks to the efforts of two determined women; Lisa Jane Campbell of Chishakwe Ranch in Zimbabwe and Rhishja Cota-Larson, an editor of Annamiticus blogging site who worked together to make World Rhino Day 2011 an international success, both online and offline. World Rhino Day has since grown to become a global phenomenon, uniting NGOs, zoos, cause-related organizations, businesses, and concerned individuals from nearly every corner of the world!

RHINO CONSERVATION IN KENYA

Kenya wildlife service

The Kenya wildlife service has been instrumental in the conservation of Rhinos which were seriously endangered. During the poaching wars of the 1970s and 1980s, black rhino numbers in Kenya fell from an estimated 20,000 to just 300 by the end of the 1980s. Thanks to intensive conservation efforts, those numbers rose slowly in the decades that followed . Their efforts have really gone a long way in conserving as well as increasing the number of Rhinos. They do this in the various national parks as well as working with other stake holders and the private sector to ensure that these majestic creatures are available for the world to admire.

The David Sheldrick Trust

The David Sheldrick Trust was one of the first organisations to alert the world to the plight of the Black Rhino in Kenya after two decades of rampant poaching that all but annihilated the species within the country’s established National Parks and remote unprotected areas in the North. We provided emergency funding for surveillance and the protection of the few rhinos remaining on Private Land and Co-ordinated joint action by what became known as the “Rhino Action Group” which was comprised of all concerned conservation organisations within Kenya. Through The Rhino Action Group, having sought an audience with the President to solicit his backing, the Government was spurred into taking urgent measures to retrieve the species from the brink of extinction.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Ol Pejeta is home to three of the world’s last remaining three northern white rhinos, and a sanctuary for 111 critically endangered 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. Steps like these ensure we remain a role model for rhino conservation in East Africa.

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is one of the main reasons why there are still rhinos left in Kenya. Back in the 1980s, the Craig family, who owns Lewa, and renowned rhino conservationist Anna Merz pioneered the setting aside of private land for conservation and then coupling it with high-end tourism. By 2015 there were 72 black rhinos and an estimated 62 white rhinos at Lewa, and nearly two dozen rhinos raised in the conservancy have been translocated to assist in growing rhino populations elsewhere in the country. You’ll have to be staying at one of Lewa’s top-end lodges to enter the conservancy, but with no restrictions on where the conservancy’s vehicles can go, you’ll never get closer to a rhino than you will here. There’s even the chance to visit Lewa’s Orphan Rhino project, following in the footsteps of Sir David Attenborough in the final episode of the BBC’s Africa series.

Borana Conservancy

Borana is one of Africa’s newest rhino conservancies, and one of its most successful. It took 15 years of planning and preparations but, in 2013, the team finally successfully relocated 21 Critically Endangered black rhinos from neighbouring  Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Lake Nakuru National Park. This was a huge undertaking, made all the more worthwhile when, soon after the rhinos had settled into their new surroundings, a new rhino calf was born. At borana,  its own important population of rhinos now free to breed with the world-famous rhinos of Lewa to create a combined black rhino population almost 90 strong.

Il Ngwesi Group Ranch

Run by the local Maasai community, Il Ngwesi Group Ranch, off Lewa’s north-western border, has small but significant populations of both black and white rhinos. Il Ngwesi receives fewer visitors than either Lewa or Borana and the encounters here with rhinos are generally more intimate as a result.

Solio Game Reserve

Solio Ranch, Kenya’s oldest rhino sanctuary is another pillar in Kenya’s story of rhino conservation — so many of the rhinos you see elsewhere in the country came from here. The wide open horizons here make sightings a satisfyingly easy proposition. Solio has 22% of all the rhinos in Kenya and probably the highest density of rhinos per square kilometer in the whole of wild Africa. It is by far the best and easiest place to see rhinos — sometimes as many as 50 on a single plain.

Due to their conservation efforts, you can be assured that #WorldRhinoDay will remain relevant here and the world over.

 

So, what do you think ?