Uganda yesterday celebrated the birth of a second white rhino in five days, bringing the total number of the endangered species at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary from six to 12 since 2005.
The yet to be named calf is daughter to Kori and Taleo, who were among the first rhinos in the sanctuary and were imported from Kenyan Solio Ranch in 2005. The two are also parents to two-year-old male, Justice, who was born in January 2010.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Executive Director Angie Genade said the birth of the calf is good for Uganda’s Rhino Reintroduction project since this offers a gender balance in the number of rhinos.
“We now have six males and six females which is a 50-50 ratio in the numbers. It is also a pleasure that we have been able to double the number of the species in less than a decade,” Ms Genade told this newspaper in a telephone interview.
The white rhino is an endangered species and had been poached to extinction in Uganda as early as 1983. Because rhino horn, which is believed to have medicinal properties, fetches a huge price on the global market, especially in Asia, poaching is still a huge problem for countries with rhino populations.
South Africa alone lost 443 rhinos to poaching in 2011. There are three adult males, three juvenile males, three adult females and two baby females living in wild conditions at the 7,000-hectare sanctuary, 175 kilometer’s on the Gulu-Kampala highway. The East African population of rhinos stands at 709 with 608 of them living in Kenya and about 100 in Tanzania.