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An Update on the Northern White Rhinos – Big Step for the Girls

On Wednesday, February 3rd, the two female northern white rhinos – Najin and Fatu – took their first step into the 400 x 400 meter fenced enclosure on the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. This really was their “first taste of Africa!” Until today, they were kept within the confines of their holding pen, with limited daily access to a 50 x 50 meter fence training area. We would have loved to see these animals out a lot quicker but it has been necessary that all four of them had sufficient time to adapt to their new surroundings and learn to respect the electric fence.

Northern White Rhino
Northern White Rhino

All of us observing Fatu and Najin today, realised, with great delight, that we are dealing with two complete different animals to those that stepped out their boxes a mere month and a half ago. The single biggest change has been in the behaviour of Najin’s daughter, Fatu. Until today, she was always nervous and a bit on edge and never really put big distances between herself and her mother.

Northern White Rhino

Her behaviour in the larger enclosure has assured us that we are on the road to success. Both females went straight for the grazing areas and then quickly took a long mud bath. Although you would expect these animals to rest up in the shade through the mid-day heat, both were continuously exploring what will become home for the next month and a half, before they are put into the even larger and final breeding areas.

Northern White Rhino

Northern White Rhino

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Elodie Sampere

Elodie Sampéré has served as Ol Pejeta’s Head of Conservation Marketing since January 2010, but has been working with Ol Pejeta in a consultant capacity for over four years. Elodie earned a BA in Political Science and Philosophy and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from George Washington University. Prior to joining the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Elodie served as the Director of Marketing for the African Wildlife Foundation for seven years. Elodie also works for the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, the Northern Rangelands Trust and Save the Elephants , dividing her time between all four organisations.

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