The past couple of weeks rolled around with cold, windy weather, with temperatures ranging from a low of 10°C to a high of 17°C. For the northern white rhinos, these temperatures may be slightly reminiscent of their stay in the Czech Republic, but with the cold air came warm company.
We were pleased to welcome various visitors to the home of the four northern whites, Sudan, Fatu, Najin and Suni. The team that was initially involved in the relocation of the northern white rhinos graced us with their presence here at Ol Pejeta.
Berry White, the keeper who had accompanied the northern whites on their trip from Czech Republic to Kenya, returned from Tanzania, where she had been looking after four black rhinos in hopes of reintroducing them into the Serengeti. She took part in the Safaricom Marathon on the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, which is considered to be the 7th toughest marathon worldwide and completed it in an astounding 5.5 hours. Well done Berry!!! She was pleased to see the progress the northern whites continue to make.
Both Mark Caradwine and Steven Fry, part of the BBC crew filming the series “Last Chance to See” were also part of the group that visited the northern whites while doing a final segment following the success of their series. Pete Morkel also came to pay a visit to the four magnificent mammals. Pete, a vet who had accompanied the northern whites on their voyage to Kenya, came to cast an eye on the progress of the NWR project. This gave us the opportunity to take advantage of his expertise in relation to the black rhino translocation.
The Director of the Kenya Wildlife Service was yet another visitor on Ol Pejeta during the past couple of weeks. It was the Director’s first time to come into contact with the northern whites and he openly expressed his excitement. Mr. Julius Kipng’etich and his team have so far been very instrumental at getting the NWR project off the ground. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy continues to work very closely with the KWS and other conservancies to ensure that our wildlife is safe and well taken care of.
We were also delighted to have Michael Dalton-Smith back on Ol Pejeta for a couple of weeks. Michael has been able to capture the journey of the northern whites in his series of documentaries titled “The Ol Pejeta Diaries.” Having been given a sneak preview of the documentary, the NWR team was quite amazed at how well orchestrated the events leading to the arrival of the northern whites were.
This coming week, we look forward to allowing Sudan and Fatu into the enclosure 400x400m for the first time in an attempt to create a more stimulating environment for breeding. In order for this to happen, we will need to construct an exclusion zone to prevent any visual interaction between them. Najin and Sudan continue to go from strength to strength in their area with limited interaction between the two of them. Although this is the case, Sudan interaction with the southern whites has increased.
We are also proud to announce the introduction of Lola, an orphaned female black rhino. Since her arrival from Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Lola has been well taken care of and carefully monitored by the OPC team, which has greatly increased her feel level of comfort. To keep her from getting lonely, we will make an effort at introducing Lola to Nabur, Ol Pejeta’s orphaned female black rhino.
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