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Make a Rhino, Save a Species

Saving the northern white rhinos isn’t just about species conservation, it’s about safeguarding wild species for future generations. We, therefore, remain committed to saving this species no matter how long it takes.

Make a rhino_funddescription

We want to raise £0.5m ($0.8m) to develop the IVF techniques needed for a new generation of northern white rhino to be born.

GoFundMe will make currency conversions or you can use our  USD Paypal account here.  For press enquiries, please contact elodie.sampere@olpejetaconservancy.org , +254 727 341 612
or jan.stejskal@zoodvurkralove.cz , +420 608 009 072

On Monday, July 27th Nabiré, a female northern white rhino at Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic passed away. With the sad and recent deaths of Suni and  Angalifu since the end of 2014, there are now just four northern white rhino left in the world.  It could be the end of a species.
Credit: Khalil Baalbaki/ZOO Dvur Kralove

Sudan (named after his birth-place but living in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya) is the last northern white male in existence, and at 42 is in advanced old age for a rhino.  The chances of him successfully mating are close to zero.
Credit: Ian Aitken

The only hope now is to develop assisted methods of reproduction to allow new northern white rhino calves to be born.  Given the age and reproductive health issues that affect the remaining females, we are exploring in vitro fertilization and an embryo transfer. We aim to combine eggs from the remaining females with stored northern white sperm to create embryos that can be carried by surrogate southern white females.

This has never been successfully carried out with rhinos before.  It will be costly – we are working towards £0.5m (approx. $0.8m).  It could take 12-36 months of research to develop the new techniques required. There are no guarantees of success.  But if we are successful, we will save a species.

You might well ask:  “Why bother?” or “Most species have gone extinct over time, what’s the problem?” or  “Couldn’t this money be better spent on other threatened species, including black rhino?”

We wish we could give you the ultimate answer but beyond sheer, inspirational beauty, the maintenance of global biodiversity and the chance to see wild rhinos roaming free in central Africa at some stage in the future, we can’t.
Credit: Erico Hiller

However, when you consider the value of this magnificent species please consider:

£0.5m (approx. $0.8m) to save a species for now, for your children and for your children’s children…

Versus the same amount to buy…

16 m2 of real estate in Monaco (172 square foot), or
62,500 space hoppers, or
One Lamborghini, or
43 Methuselah bottles of 1990 Cristal Brut Millennium cuvée , or
5 and a bit, Supercharged Range Rover SVR Sports, or
Half of an Xten, Pininfarina designed office chair

Please see foot of this page for links to sources.

Feel free to share in your comments any more crazy comparisons as to how £0.5m ($0.8m) could be spent compared to saving a species.

Please contribute and help us make a new baby northern white rhino. Any and all funds raised here will go directly to the northern white rhino programme.

For more information please contact Richard Vigne, CEO of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, or Jan Stejskal, Director of International Projects at Dvur Kralove Zoo, by simply posting a message to this Go Fund Me page.

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Important information:

There is no guarantee of success.  We could spend this money and fail.  But we hope that you will agree that it is worth trying.

Even if we do succeed it could take us much, much longer than the time frames we are hoping for as outlined above.

We estimate that we need to raise £0.5m (approx. $0.8m) before fees to make this work but we could be wrong – we could need more and would continue fundraising.

Should any funds remain after success or failure, then the committee set up to safeguard the northern white future will reinvest those monies into protecting the world’s remaining rhino species.

The northern white rhino programme is administered by a committee comprised of the Kenya Wildlife Service, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, Dvur Kralove Zoo and the Ministry of Environment in the Czech Republic, and Back to Africa with support from Fauna and Flora International and the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

The northern white rhino is technically recognised as a subspecies by IUCN AfRSG. For simplicity we have chosen to communicate this campaign under the banner of ‘Save a Species’ in recognition that northern white rhino genetics are uniquely adapted to their habitats and are subsequently irreplaceable and we believe invaluable.

This campaign has been set up by Robert Breare and Jan Stejskal. Robert is Chief Operating Officer of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, home to three of the last four northern white rhino. Jan is Director of International Projects at Dvur Kralove Zoo, owner of all four remaining northern white rhinos. Their identity can be confirmed by checking out LinkedIn here  and here  or staff pages on OPC  or DK Zoo website .  GoFundMe also runs extensive verification checks.

Sources:

Banner image: Credit Jan Stejskal

http://www.gofundme.com/makearhino

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Raising Hope: The Angel Centre

What sane mother would abandon their baby? Is this person without a conscience? Does she not have a heart? could it be that she is simply evil?! We had so many questions when we got there. Questions that, truth be told, we may never get answers to…nevertheless one can’t help but wonder.

I had heard stories before and at an early age seen cases, of children dumped into dumpsites, on streets, on hospital facilities, in bushes or into pit- latrines. However over Easter weekend, these stories became too real. Holding these little angels in our hands, feeding them their formula, it was simply incomprehensible how these precious beings could have undergone so much pain and suffering, within such a short period of life.

ZURU KIDS

In my arms was this adorable bundle of joy, Alexander, with his appetite in check he hurriedly finished his bottle of formula within a number of minutes, as if to show who was the best feeder among the ‘siblings’. Alex’s story, like all of the others, is a sad one. With just a few hours in this cruel cruel world, the poor boy was stuffed into a sack like pieces of old clothes and dumped into a pit latrine. He was lucky enough to get rescued before it was too late.

zuru kenya Angel Center
cute little Alex after feeding
Abandonment breaches all fundamental parental roles of providing
nurturance, protection and guidance to one offspring, particularly during the most vulnerable stages of their lives, and that is why one wonders how a mother could inflict such pain and suffering on her own child. These things that could not be provided to them by their parents, Angel Center has committed to provide.
Founded by Wamaitha Mwangi, Angel Center for abandoned children  which is based in Dagoretti seeks to provide Basic human rights, Love & affection, Medical care, Complementary therapy, Good nutrition and most importantly, a place that these precious beings can call home until they find their long term families.
 zurukenya raising hope
Taking care of 27 or so kids, is a full time job that can only be described as a calling. Not that many people could commit to giving their all to children that are not their own. Babies are a gift from God and as helpless as they are, we commend the work that Angel Center is doing to give them “a fresh start”.
 angel centre
When we arrived for our playdate with the kids on Easter Monday, the mum’s were busy getting them ready; bathing and feeding them. Unfortunately at the time, some of the kids had come down with chicken pox so the younger one’s had to be kept separate from the older ones to avoid contacting the same. That didn’t stop us from enjoying our time with the Kids though. We played, danced, snacked together, and had loads of fun.
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While there, one of the kids was on his way out. Off to start a new chapter with his new loving family. Although oblivious of the fact that he wasn’t going to come back to Angel Center, the joy expressed on his face was enough confirmation that he was going to be just alright. In case you are looking to adopt or sponsor a child feel free to get intouch with the Angel Center.
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We had an amazing time with the kids at Angel Center. If we could carry them home, we would have ( they are so cute!!!). Nevertheless, despite not being able to understand how an otherwise sane mother could carry to term her baby only to abandon and in some cases kill,  desperation can never explain the “leave to let die” abandonment. Any sane mother, no matter how desperate her situation, will look for a caring place to leave her baby.

Dumping and abandoning newborns is a crime. There must be a law stiffly penalizing mothers for this.

That said, we don’t know the circumstances that led to these kids’ abandonement. Perhaps we’ll never know the full story. We can only thank God that people like Wamaitha and the ladies at the home exist. Because of them, these little miracles have a place to call home and a chance at a good life.

Silver Whisper: See the interior of the world class cruise ship that docked in Mombasa on Sunday Morning with 394 Tourists

Sunday morning, the tourism sector received a major boost after 394 tourists arrived at Mombasa aboard a cruise ship.

The tourists from different countries, many of them United States citizens, were to spend one day visiting tsavo national park, shimba hills among other tourist destinations at the coast before embarking on their journey yesterday.

The cruise ship is sailing across the indian and atlantic oceans on a tour around the world.

We take a look at the Interior of the Mv Silversea Whisper, the cruise ship that brought much optimism to the countries tourism industry. Not only does it have the amenities of a grand resort but also the charms of a stylish boutique hotel.

Guests at Silver Whisper get to enjoy world-class accommodations, pampering treatments of an expanded wellness spa, shopping at the hottest trends from top designers at its boutiques and much much more.

Silver Whisper luxury cruise ship has it all.

SUITES

Vista Suite

Terrace Suite

 Veranda Suite
Medallion Suite
Silver Suite
Royal Suite
Grand Suite
Owner Suite
DINING
Pool Bar & Grill

La Terrazza

The Restaurant

Le Champagne

PUBLIC AREAS

Fitness Centre

Panorama Lounge

Pool Deck

Reception

Show Lounge

The Bar

Boutiques

The Spa at Silversea

Casino

Beauty Salon

Connoisseur’s Corner

Internet Cafe

Library

A Glimpse of Kenyan History Through Pictures

Kenyan History

The foundation of the modern day Kenyatta Avenue was laid down by one James Kerr Watson an architect and the owner of the huge Donholm Farm, which was where the estate with the same name stands today in Nairobi. The road was then known as 6th Avenue before it’s name changed to Delamere Avenue. After independence, the road was named after the President Mzee Kenyatta to the current name of Kenyatta Avenue.

Photo of Kenyatta Avenue in 1911. (Photo courtesy of Caroline Kere) Photo of Kenyatta Avenue in 1911. (Photo courtesy of Caroline Kere)

The McMillan Memorial Library was established as a private library in 1931 in memory of philanthropists Lord William Northrop Macmillan and wife Lucie. Lprd MacMillan was the owner of the vast Juja Farm near Thika. The McMillan Memorial Library became public in 1962.

The Macmillan Library with the Jamia Mosque 40's (Photo by Harjinder Kanwal ) The Macmillan Library with the Jamia Mosque 40’s (Photo by Harjinder Kanwal )

In 1909, Kamau wa Ngegi joined Church of Scotland Mission…

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Hilarious Origin of Names of Towns and Locations in Kenya

Kenyan History

Kenya is home to many trading centers and towns some with very interesting names, but have you ever thought of how the name of your town or village came about? Some of the names came about by what we can term as sheer coincidence and twists which are funny.

Dagoretti Corner: The place was originally known as “The Great Corner” and the Africans could not pronounce it correctly and the corrupted version became Dagoretti Corner which was directly from The Great Corner which has stuck to this day. The Great Corner was the site of the first airfield in Kenya; a patchy grass runway around the present Meteorological Department.

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Rumuruti: Rumuruti is a town in Laikipia County about 40km north of Nyahururu. How did it get its’ name? The town was on the route from Nyahururu to Mararal which was commonly used by white settlers. They referred to the…

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Kwaheri Satao – Saying Goodbye to a Tsavo Icon

With great sadness, we report the death of Satao, one of Tsavo’s most iconic and well-loved tuskers. This magnificent elephant was widely known in Tsavo East National Park, where he was observed with awe by many thousands of Tsavo’s visitors over the years. No longer will Tsavo and Kenya benefit from his mighty presence. Satao was shot dead by poisoned arrow on 30th May 2014. The arrow had entered his left flank and he stood no chance of survival. We spotted his carcass on 2nd June but to avoid any potential false alarms, we first took pains to verify the carcass really was his. Today it is with enormous regret that we confirm there is no doubt that Satao is dead, killed by an ivory poacher’s poisoned arrow to feed the seemingly insatiable demand for ivory in far off countries. A great life lost so that someone far away can have a trinket on their mantelpiece.

 static.squarespace.comSatao, a mighty beast and one of Tsavo’s best loved icons

THIS REPORT HAS BEEN CLEARED FOR PUBLIC CIRCULATION BY THE KENYA WILDLIFE SERVICE.

INCIDENT REPORT

For the last 18 months, KENYA WILDLIFE SERVICE (KWS) and TSAVO TRUST jointly monitored Satao’s movements using aerial reconnaissance, and KWS deployed ground personnel in his known home range. But with today’s mounting poaching pressures and anti-poaching resources stretched to the limit, it proved impossible to prevent the poachers getting through the net.

Immediately reports of a fresh carcass in this area of Tsavo were received by KWS, a TSAVO TRUST reconnaissance flight took off with a KWS officer on board. It did not take long to locate the carcass near the boundary of the National Park. A joint KWS / TSAVO TRUST ground team followed up immediately. Despite the mutilated head, they deduced that the carcass was most probably that of Satao for the following reasons:

  • Satao was well known by the KWS / TSAVO TRUST units operating continuously in this area. When he was alive, his enormous tusks were easily identifiable, even from the air. Although the poachers had hacked off his face and taken his ivory, there were other physical attributes and circumstantial evidence that pointed to this carcass being that of Satao.
  • Satao was very much a creature of habit. He roamed a very specific area, known to KWS and TSAVO TRUST, most often in the company of small groups of bull elephant.
  • With the recent rain, over 1,000 elephants have moved into the area to take advantage of the green and plentiful vegetation. Satao had not moved from this area for the last two months.
  • Satao was last seen alive by TSAVO TRUST on 19th May 2014, just 300 meters from where his carcass now lies. He was with four other bulls that he was frequently seen with. During May 2014, TSAVO TRUST had observed him no fewer than 9 times from the air and several times from the ground. Protection efforts were stepped up when he ventured right up to the boundary of the Park (an area that is a historical and present poaching hotspot, especially for poachers using poisoned arrows).
  • Satao had “clean ears” – there were no cuts, tears or obvious scars, making him easily identifiable when he was alive and now that he is dead.
  • The mud caked on his mutilated forehead and back was similar to that seen on him when he was alive.
  • Since locating the carcass, several joint KWS / TSAVO TRUST reconnaissance flights have tried and failed to locate Satao in his known home range.

The facts all point to the same appalling conclusion and we are left with no choice but to acknowledge that the great Satao is no more.

satao with tsavo bullsSatao, second from the rear, in the company of his fellow Tsavo bulls

THE ENORMITY OF THE TASK AT HAND

The area Satao frequented is a massive and hostile expanse for any single anti-poaching unit to cover, at least one thousand square kilometers in size. Roads and tracks are few and far between and in parts the vegetation is very thick, making access difficult. Elephants concentrate here in large numbers after the rains which come in from the coast. The communities living just beyond the National Park boundary persistently carry out illegal activities inside the Park in this area. Understaffed and with inadequate resources given the scale of the challenge, KWS ground units have a massive uphill struggle to protect wildlife in this area. There is a tremendous will amongst the KWS field units and the TSAVO TRUST personnel working alongside them to protect Tsavo’s elephant herds but more help is needed.

COOPERATION IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY

At times like this, it is hard to see any positive side to the situation. But let’s not forget that Satao’s genes survive out there, somewhere in the Tsavo elephant population and they too need protecting. Satao would have been at least 45 years old. During his lifetime he would have weathered many droughts and seen many other poached elephants, and he would have sired offspring that, given a safe environment to grow up in, may become tomorrow’s generation of great Tsavo tuskers.

We also wish to emphasize the level of cooperation and coordination between KWS and TSAVO TRUST that this incident proved. Without the regular joint KWS / TSAVO TRUST aerial reconnaissance of this section of the Park, Satao’s carcass may not have been found, and as a result KWS’s swift and successful follow-up may not have ensued. Following TSAVO TRUST’s report from the air, KWS ground units were immediately deployed. The KWS reaction was rapid and decisive, and is still ongoing. Due to the sensitivities of such operations and the risk of compromise, we cannot comment further on the progress being made. We hope to relay additional updates in due course.

Meanwhile, we applaud KWS’s success in arresting the main poison dealer and supplier in Kilifi, whose deadly product has been the cause of many painful and wasteful elephant deaths in Tsavo.

Working together – and often against the odds – we can continue to make a positive difference to Tsavo and to Tsavo’s elephants.

Tsavo is our home, our passion and our life’s work but, as the untimely death of Satao so tragically proves, we cannot win every time. Rest in peace, Old Friend, you will be missed. Rest assured the fight to protect Tsavo’s elephants goes on.

Source: Tsavotrust.org