Fauna & Flora International supports crucial next steps for rare rhinos

In 2009 Fauna & Flora International (FFI) helped four critically endangered rhinos move from the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya in a last attempt to prevent the species from extinction.

Since adapting to life back in Africa there have been significant positive changes in the animals’ behaviour. They are now grazing, bathing in mud and the males have been observed scrape their feet and spray to mark territory – all very encouraging natural wild behaviours.

“It is gratifying to see how well the rhinos have adapted to their new surroundings and a wild diet,” said Dr Rob Brett, FFI Africa Regional Director (pictured right).

“The stimulus of quality wild nutrition and living with other rhinos over the next few months will give them the best chances of getting into the right condition to breed naturally.”

The next phase of the re-introduction has begun with the two females, Najin and Fatu, being reunited with Sudan.

Last week they took their first steps together into what will become the breeding area and their home, which is also home to six female southern white rhinos.

Both Najin and Fatu ventured out into the new area and headed straight down to investigate the long grass and acacia trees.

That evening it was clear they had no intention of heading back to the bomas so the team stayed with them and witnessed them spending time with four of the southern white rhinos.

Sudan was slightly more cautious but did spend the next day investigating his new home.

The new area is over 700 acres and will have double fencing with anti-poaching security and monitoring staff.

The fourth northern white rhino, Suni, will be slowly introduced to Najin again in another breeding area.

If you would like to help the northern white rhinos and other threatened species please donate today.

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Back to Africa, and the Kenya Wildlife Service have also been involved in the initiative. Visit the website for videos, photo galleries and blogs on the rhinos: www.northernwhiterhinolastchance.com

Photo credits: Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Dr Rob Brett/ FFI