Good news emerged from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in the central Kenyan highlands near Nanyuki when information was released that two of the four Northern White Rhinos brought some years ago from a zoo in the Czech Republic were actually seen mating, very likely putting Najin in the family way. While that still has to be confirmed by the vets in due course, getting the pair to mate was a major achievement already, and a result of carefully matching her with Suni.
Najin in fact had given birth in captivity some 10 years ago to a female calf named Fatu and it is hoped that the almost extinct subspecies can truly now be saved from the fate of their wild colleagues the last of which were butchered in Garamba National Park when a Minister in the Kinshasa regime recalled an earlier permission to airlift the last dozen or so wild population to Ol Pejeta, literally as the aircraft engines were being warmed up to fly the extraction team to the park. Claiming at the time the regime was able to protect the rare species, this was of course nothing but a full mouthed way of misleading the world and not long afterwards were the last of the species in the wild poached to extinction, to the lasting discredit of the megalomaniac politician and Kabilas regime. With only four of the rare animals now available for breeding on Ol Pejeta where they enjoy around the clock protection the remaining animals in the Czech zoo were thought to be too old to still successfully mate there is now a glimmer of hope for the global conservation fraternity to see a gradual and slow rebuilding of a viable breeding herd to ensure the longer term survival of the Northern White Rhino, previously at home in Uganda, South Sudan, the Congo and the Central African Republic. Congratulations to Richard Vigne, CEO of Ol Pejeta and his entire team of dedicated staff, who have worked relentlessly over the past 2 ½ years to make this happen.
(Picture courtesy of Ol Pejeta Conservancy)