UGANDA (eTN) – Information was received in the early hours of today by the Executive Director of the Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU) that overnight a fourth Southern White Rhino was born, and the good news went better when it was established that the little baby is actually a female, the previous three births having been males.
This is the first established female rhino birth in well over 30 years recorded in Uganda, since the species was poached into extinction by rabble army units of the then dictatorships. Conservationists will be overjoyed to learn of this latest success of the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and RFU’s breeding program.
The little female calf is being fiercely protected by her mother Nandi, who is, in fact, chasing her first born “Obama” vigorously away now to give the little rhino baby all her attention, care, and protection, leaving “Obama” totally bewildered and reportedly crying for his mother who was his sole companion since his own birth two years ago.
The total number of rhinos now on Ziwa is 10, with 3 adolescent males, 3 mature males, and 3 mature females, the other 2 also being with calf and due to deliver in the coming weeks.
Four of the rhinos were purchased from Kenya’ Solio Game Reserve, while 2 were gifted to RFU and Ziwa by Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida.
The Rhino Fund Uganda and Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary have decided to “auction” the name of the young baby rhino girl to the highest bidder. Interested parties may apply via firstname.lastname@example.org with the minimum offer starting at US$3,000.
Last month, the Rhino Fund Uganda, a duly registered NGO, had taken exception to the blatant misrepresentation and factual errors floated in the Ugandan media in regard to statements allegedly made before the current ongoing Commission of Enquiry, headed by Rtd. Justice Kanyeihamba, which is tasked to look into the use of the so-called “Pamsu Funds” under a major project deal financed by the World Bank. As a result, this poor reporting, which was producing and peddling headlines like “Government cheated in Rhino deal,” has caused concern among the Rhino Fund’s supporters, their donors and development partners, prompting the Executive Director of the RFU, which first created and now manages the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, to put all the relevant facts on the table for everyone to see and to correct false impressions given by media reports circulating first in Uganda before being without any critical study reproduced abroad again “as fact printed in the local newspapers.”
This correspondent, having been chairman of the RFU during the critical years before, during, and after the establishment of the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, unconditionally supports Angie Genade’s statement, which represents all correct fact and details to the best recollection of the author.
Most notably, the RFU finances were and are regularly audited by competent and fully established audit firms approved to work with the Ugandan authorities, and at no time during this correspondent’s term of office between 2002 and 2008 were these accounts not meeting the standards our donors expected when disclosing the use of their funding.
It is also in order to once again thank Capt. Joe Roy and his company, Ziwa Ranchers Limited, for their outstanding contribution to wildlife conservation in Uganda, having granted RFU an initial 30 years land use right to establish the Rhino Sanctuary.