Posts Tagged With: Kenya

Ranger James: caretaker of the last male Northern White Rhino

Name: James
Age: 29
Location: Ol Pejeta in Kenya
I have been a ranger for the last 5 years now,3 years as a rhino patrol man and 2 years now as the last three northern white rhinos caretaker.
I grew with a passion for the conservation of nature,I realised there was need to have a right-minded people who would speak out for poaching stricken elephants and rhinos, as well other living things. After my high school and I was unable to fund further education, I decided to get a job that would allow me to be close to these animals and serve to protect them.

Northern Whites by Tony Karumba

 
What has been your most rewarding and most difficult moment as a ranger?
 The most rewarding thing (as a ranger) is to see the rhino populations rise steadily,more so the role they play in the ecosystem  and the tourism sector as well.
The most difficult and worse of it as a ranger is the site of a poached rhino. You take care of a rhino for years and then in one night or day a poacher kills it and hacks off its horn and make millions, its horrible!! Leaving the whole carcass and blood spilt everywhere..too sad.
What do you do in your off days?
In my off days I like to do a lot, from nature walks, birding, playing guitar, reading and hiking too.
Where would you like to travel someday?
I would ike to travel a lot; from America and other parts of Africa and meet different people and diverse culture, beliefs and practices, as well as other adorable living things.
What is your favorite animal?
Rhino of course.
What’s one thing you wish you had to make your job easier?
I need learning. I know and understand that it is an essential tool that can curb poaching at a very great extent, its one tool I yearn for everyday.

Sudan, photo: James Mwenda

You work with Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino. You see a lot of tourists come and go. Do you think they truly understand the gravity of the situation with him and the other two?
When we are addressing the plight of rhinos, the awareness point of it is very crucial. In my personal tours with visitors to Sudan, I can truly see them understand the gravity of the whole crisis facing the N.whites. I have seen from emotional transitions to assertions that we all must do something to save and avoid the black and white rhinos from facing the same threat as the N.whites; to a positive and conservation oriented people.
The story of the northern whites is a mind changing and transforming one. Sudan alone is a voice himself to the human race,who have reduced all his relatives,brothers and sisters. He is also appealing to political leaders who have facilitated political instability and thus their massacre; at a greater extent they are playing a major role in ambassadoring for other species too.
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Dogs are changing the world for rhinos

One of our greatest passions at Fight for Rhinos is in helping canine anti-poaching units. Dogs are a huge game-changer in the poaching war!

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Rhino Wrap up 2016

What a year! While rhino poaching persists, so does the war to stop it. This year thanks to the generosity and concern from all of you, we have managed to provide much needed help to the following:

Kruger Park APU

$2370.00 usd to human tracker training— We received a plea for help from a ranger who was part of a smaller APU in southern Kruger. They had been hit by the poaching of rhino in their area and felt they needed to be better equipped to prevent being hit again.

We were able to provide human tracker training where they learned more about early detection in suspicious human activity, (i.e. poaching camps, tracks, snares) apprehension of suspicious individuals,and gathering intelligence and evidence.

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Some of the APU involved in tracker training.

Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre

$5500.00 usd to APU canine training–The centre specializes in cheetahs and various wildlife rehabilitation, but with the large number of rhinos being poached, there is a huge need for help rehabilitating the rhino orphans.

Having taken in several rhinos, the need for increased security includes initiating a canine unit for their APU. We started with Chloe, one of the APU dogs for the entire Kapama area (of which HESC is a part). From there, we were able to help with HESC’s own canine unit, including Zee and Bullet.

The training includes the advanced levels for all dogs, including a trainer from the Centre who will accompany them.

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Zee and Bullet @HESC

  Ol Pejeta Conservancy

$3000.00 usd to anti-poaching supplies— Home to the largest black rhino sanctuary in east Africa, as well as the last three Northern White Rhinos on the planet, security is probably THE most urgent need for Ol Pejeta. Everything from boots and tents to training and upgrades are needed to benefit the APUs. (More details to follow).

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OPC rangers take part in regular trainings to keep their skills sharp.

Thank you for fighting with us in this poaching war. Your donations are not taken lightly. For each amount given leads to action taken to protect rhinos and to keep rangers safe. Please continue to work with us, together we ARE making a difference!

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EVERY rhino counts

save-just-one

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Exclusive Rhino Ornaments

We’re pleased to offer our exclusive ornaments this year-made specifically for Fight for Rhinos; Black Rhino Mom & Baby

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Made of sustainable maple
Approximate dimensions: 4″ x 2 1/2″ x 3/16″
Text: Peace, Love & Rhinos
Fight for Rhinos

via Paypal: Only $13.50 usd plus shipping (ships to USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Denmark, Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands)
As always 100% of profits benefit our rhino conservation projects

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Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

So little can mean so much

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Ol Pejeta rangers with anti poaching dogs.

A monthly gift can make all the difference for our canine APUs.

monthly-gifts

A one time gift of $25 purchases kong balls and rope (positive reinforcement toys)

A one time gift of $50 purchases dog shoes (for bush terrain training)

Simply go to the DONATE button and select the MONTHLY option.

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HESC canine APU

We currently work with Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center and Ol Pejeta APUs. With black and white rhinos, both wild and rehabilitating, canines are a critical part of success at keeping poachers at bay.

We are happy to provide end of year statements for your tax deductions.

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Nairobi wildlife under threat

Sitting in a hot car, unmoving; breathing in diesel fumes, waiting for the police to wave your car through….and waiting, and waiting. What should be a simple 10 minute trip across the city turns into an hour plus nightmare.  Chicago traffic is a delight in comparison to Nairobi traffic.

nairobi traffic

Nairobi is among the worst in the world when it comes to traffic issues.

Currently traffic comes through the heart of the city; from locals to freight vehicles coming from the port of Mombasa traveling into Kenya, as well as into neighboring Uganda and South Sudan.

It’s easy to see Nairobi desperately needs updated infrastructure and change. In fact, in 2014, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero said that the city’s traffic costs the country an estimated $570,000 a day in lost productivity.

But what does this mean to wildlife? In particular the Nairobi National Park, situated just 4 miles (7 km) outside of the country’s capital,  an electric fence is the only boundary separating city from wildlife.

banner-nairobi-national-park by all time safaris

Nairobi National Park Photo: Alltimesafaris.com

The country’s first wildlife park was established in 1946 when traffic was non-existent, the city population only at approximately 170,000. Today’s population is almost 4 million.

The country’s largest, most rapidly expanding city needs room to grow, but must simultaneously preserve the delicate balance of its wildlife.

Nairobi National Park

The park is currently partially surrounded by roads and fences, but has an open area to the south allowing for wildlife corridors.

Proposed railway no text

The proposed plans for the railway inside the Park. The preferred government route is the light blue line, virtually splitting the park in half.

The fear is eventually the park will become broken up, and/or surrounded by infrastructure and human encroachment, essentially turning the park into more of a zoo.

Directing necessary developments around the park, and preserving wildlife corridors is vital to the future of Kenya’s rhinos, elephants, lions and others. Please take a moment to encourage Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta to preserve the integrity of the Nairobi National Park. VOTE now!

Vote to save Park

 

 

 

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Could gun control help curb poaching?

Recently a research organization in Switzerland called the Small Arms Survey reported on weapon trends in relation to elephant and rhino poaching. Here are the highlights from that report (via Rachael Bale @ National Geographic):

No one’s tracing guns. The Small Arms Survey found that weapons and ammo collected at poaching sites are rarely entered into Interpol’s firearms tracing system, even though doing so could help law enforcement track criminal networks as well as build cases against major players.

“It’s difficult,” Carlson said. “A lot of African countries do not have the capacity to carry out the types of forensic activity that is required.”

Governments need to do a better job securing seized weapons. There have been at least a couple of cases where guns seized by police in Mozambique later showed up at poaching sites. That means either the police did a pretty bad job of storing the weapons in the first place, or they actually helped leak the weapons to the poachers.

kws with seized firearms by tony karumba

KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service) with confiscated guns and ammo from poachers. photo: Tony Karumba

It’s just too easy to get a gun in Africa. Aside from leaky stockpiles of seized weapons, there are plenty of other ways for poachers to get guns. Wealthy Sudanese businessmen have been known to provide guns, night vision goggles, and other equipment to poaching teams, the survey researchers were told. Sometimes it’s the military itself using state-issued guns to do the illegal killing. And there are plenty of people willing to trade guns for ivory. A 2015 National Geographic investigation found support for the claim that Sudan’s military trades guns to the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army in exchange for ivory, and other armed groups in Central Africa are also suspected to be trading ivory for guns.

Military-style rifles are cheaper. Large-scale poachers tend to prefer hunting rifles—with their long range and ability to take down an elephant or rhino with a single shot—the report says. But assault rifles and light machine guns are really growing in popularity, especially among the highly organized poaching groups. Military-style weapons in the vein of Kalashnikovs are cheaper (so is their ammo) and easier to come by than hunting rifles. Guns have been documented coming from Libya, Angola, Burundi, Mozambique, Sudan, and South Sudan.

 

 

 

 

 

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Rhino conservation is going to the dogs

Nairobi stray trained in apu by jeremy goss

This Nariobi stray was trained and utilized in a Kenyan APU. Photo: Jeremy Goss

With the ability to hear at a distance 4x greater and at a higher pitch,
the amazing ability to feel or sense energy,
and with a sense of smell 1,000 to 10,000,000 times more sensitive than a human
dogs are the perfect anti-poaching weapon.

Like the superman of an anti-poaching team, they can work long hours through harsh conditions, picking up the trail of a poacher without hesitation. They can search a car in 3-4 minutes, while it can take an hour to search with humans alone. And they are relentless to reach their goal.

Utilized everywhere from  Kruger National Park, the Congo, Kenya, and Zambia; they are trained to track poachers, to locate ivory and horn, and even to repel from helicopters.

dog propeling from copter by paramount group

K9 Conservation Training practicing repelling with ranger and his canine companion. Photo: Paramount Group

The most frequently used breeds are Bloodhounds, Weimaraner , Malinois, and Antaloian Shepherds. Dog selection is based partially on specific working conditions and most importantly on personality and demeanor.

According to Megan Parker, from Working Dogs Conservation in Montana, “bad” dogs don’t make great pets, but their personalities are perfect for conservation work.

The perfect example of this comes from a “bad” dog named Ruger. Found in an animal shelter and highly “unadoptable”, he has successfully been trained in anti-poaching work. The first anti-poaching canine in Zambia, Ruger has put away 150 poachers to date. And all this work for what? A reward of a game of tug-o-war with his favorite chew toy.

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Ruger with the Delta Team in Zambia. Photo:unknown.

With all the perks of working with dogs, perhaps Damien Bell, director of Big Life Tanzania, sums it up best.

“Apart from their incredible tracking abilities, dogs are wonderful to work with because they don’t have any political agenda—they can’t be compromised. “

 

 

 

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Baby rhino gives Sudan new lease on life

The baby southern white rhino was abandoned by mom and found by the Ol Pejeta team when he was only 2 weeks old. Very sick and barely alive, he has made an amazing recovery with the help of caretakers.

Named Ringo, after rhino advocate Ringo Starr, he has been introduced to Sudan, the last male northern white rhino on the planet. The two make quite the pair. Click below to watch more:

ringo rhino opc

 Photo By: Camilla Le May Photography

Categories: Rhino Ramblings, Rhino Spotlight | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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