Uganda Imports Two Rhinos From Kenya

WILDLIFE and Rhino Fund Uganda officials on Sunday imported two White rhinos from Solio Ranch, Laikipia District, Kenya and took them to Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) in Entebbe.

The arrival of the Rhinos attracted excited crowds of conservationists and residents because white Rhinos in Uganda became extinct in the early 1980s. The rhinos loaded in two large containers on a lorry arrived at Malaba on the Uganda-Kenya border at 10:30am.

A team of 20 officials from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), UWEC and Rhino Fund Uganda accompanied them to UWEC. They went through Tororo and Mbale via the Tirinyi Highway and arrived at UWEC at 7:18pm. The two rhinos, a female and male recently named Kabira and Sherino respectively, are about two-and-a-half-years-old.

The UWEC Executive Director, Betti Kamya and UWA officials received the team of seven people who accompanied the rhinos from Solio Ranch at the Kenyan side of the border. This is an exciting moment, Kamya said as she shook hands and hugged her colleagues.

It took about one hour to clear with the authorities at the border. The Rhinos are endangered animals and listed on Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). We had to get the export and import permits from the CITES authorities so that we could transport the animals, the UWEC technical adviser, Wilhelm Moeller, told The New Vision at Malaba.

Dr. Joseph Okori, who represented the UWA executive director, Dr. Robbie Robinson, attributed the success of the translocation of the rhinos to good preparation. The rhinos were calm, but refused to take water at Malaba because they were scared