A new white rhino calf born in Ol Pejeta (Kenya)

The conservancy said it is proud to provide a safe sanctuary to 144 black rhino, 38 southern white rhino, and the last two northern white rhinos on the planet. Image: As originally published by The Star.

Gilbert Koech, The Star | March 21, 2021

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A new white rhino calf has been born in Ol Pejeta conservancy, bringing the total rhinos to 184.

“When you are one of the largest rhino sanctuaries in the world, every day is a celebration. But when a new calf is born, there is even more happiness in the air,” the conservancy said.

It said the new calf is good news for them and for rhino conservation as a whole.

Last year, there was no poaching incident for rhinos in the country.

The conservancy said with no-poaching incident, things are moving in the right direction.

“It is moments like this that remind us that what we are doing is making a real difference to protecting endangered wildlife and only encourages us further to fight to save them .”

The conservancy said it is proud to provide a safe sanctuary to 144 black rhino, 38 southern white rhino, and the last two northern white rhinos on the planet.

“We would like to say a big thank you to all of our donors and partners who continue to support us and make moments like this possible.”

At the conservancy, efforts to save the northern white rhino from going extinct are underway.

Already, a bull that will detect when the females are on heat has been selected.

The conservancy this month announced that a southern white rhino bull has been relocated to an enclosure at the facility.

“The bull, named Owuan, is to play a key role in the northern white rhino bio-rescue effort as he has been selected to detect when the female white rhino surrogates come on heat,” the conservancy said.

It said the move is an accurate and practical method that will allow them know the best possible moment to implant the northern white rhino embryos to give them the greatest chance of success.

It said Owuan has been released into the surrogate rhino enclosure and acclimatized to his new surroundings.

“He is very healthy and has proven to be quite a character although surprisingly cooperative at all stages of the mission. Further updates coming soon!”

With the help of KWS, the southern white rhino bull was relocated to a boma enclosure at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in November 2020.

Owuan is crucial to trigger oestrus and create an ideal hormonal environment in the potential surrogates.

An international consortium of scientists and conservationists is working towards preventing the extinction of the northern white rhino through advanced assisted reproduction technologies.

In December last year, two new northern white rhino embryos were produced by the team.