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Rhino births on Laikipia ranch surpass target

COUNTIES
By Job Weru | March 10th 2016
Ol Jogi Ranch Wildlife Manager, Jamie Gaymer, who is also the chairperson of the Association of Private Land Rhino Sanctuaries (APLRS) and ranch's senior supervisor Mr Francis Ekile Ekai calm a blind rhino that was scheduled for eye surgery at a secluded boma within the ranch in this past photogragh. The ranch recorded 11 rhino births, six of which were from the critically endangered black rhino species. Photo by JOB WERU/Standard.

Rhinos on a Laikipia ranch gave birth to 11 calves last year surpassing the target set by conservationists.

The Kenya National Rhino Conservation and Management Strategy has an annual six per cent projection growth rate.

Ol Jogi Ranch, which is situated along the Nanyuki-Doldol road, announced in its annual report that the newborns comprised six black and five white calves.

The births, according to the report, bring the rhino population in the private conservancy to the highest it has ever recorded.

"I cannot hide the fact that I feel a sense of pride in achieving such a high population of rhinos in Ol Jogi for the first time in history" said the ranch's manager Jamie Gaymer.

The population was realized despite attacks by poachers who killed five rhinos in the conservancy.

Ol Jogi Ranch is one of the prestigious wildlife conservancies in Laikipia, and Kenya in general.

The ranch boasts diversity of animal species as well as plants.

The ranch provides a rhino sanctuary and is surrounded by an innovative ring fencing system that offers protection against poaching, and facilitates extensive monitoring and security systems.

It has 16 operating game corridors that allow wildlife migration from neighbouring ranches, while at the same time prohibiting movement of rhinos.

The ranch also has a wildlife rescue centre and a modern veterinary clinic.

Among the rare species of animals found on the ranch is a bear - the only one in Africa - the African black leopard and tamed elephants.

On November 5 last year, an elephant calf born of two tamed elephants and named 'Maisha' attained the age of five.

"She turned five in November 2015, and at 1,000kgs, is one of our largest and most-loved babies," read a statement from the ranch.

Maisha's parents were survivors of an elephant cull in Zimbabwe and were brought to Ol Jogi 26 years ago.

The ranch was established more than 60 years ago and is a safe haven for endangered animal species.

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