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Support the Rhinos through Nicky’s Mozilla Firefox Challenge

December 06, 2012

Young Nicky, the blind baby black rhino, is competing on CrowdRise to win $50,000 to help protect and care for him and the other rhinos on Lewa --and you can help! 

In light of the tragic news of the recent poachings on Lewa, the threat to Kenya's rhino has never been so brutally apparent. Lewa is working around the clock to ensure the immediate protection of the animals living on the conservancy, as well as working with partner organizations to address the international demand for illegal wildlife products. In these disquieting times, one thing is certain: nurturing and protecting individual rhinos like Nicky has never been more important as we work to ensure the survival of his species. This demanding undertaking would not be possible without your ongoing support.

The Story of Nicky
While out on a routine patrol a few months ago, two Lewa rangers noticed that a young black rhino calf was bumping into things and veering away from his mother’s path, all signs that there was something wrong with his vision.  The rangers passed along their concerns and the veterinary team conducted an examination to confirm that he was in fact blind, most likely the result of congenital cataracts. Because of his condition, Lewa decided that it was too risky to keep him with his mother, with a high potential for him to get lost and wander into danger.  So this newest member of the Lewa family (named Nicky by a generous sponsor) has moved in with Mike Watson, Lewa’s CEO. The Watson family, along with the help of two experienced handlers Yusuf and Tonga, are taking great care Nicky and watching him grow and thrive everyday.  He has adapted easily to his new environment and has settled-in to a daily routine of eating, playing and taking mud baths.


The Challenge
Raising a blind baby rhino is not cheap, neither is protecting the other endangered black and white rhinos on Lewa.  It costs Lewa an average of $1,265 per month to pay for Nicky’s day-to-day care, veterinary costs and salaries for his keepers. On top of that, it costs more than $10,000 to protect each individual rhino on Lewa every year. To help raise funds we have launched a CrowdRise campaign for Nicky and the other rhinos on Lewa. The team at CrowdRise was touched by Nicky’s story and invited his campaign to take part in the Mozilla Firefox challenge. 

The challenge is simple: 100 organizations compete to raise the most money by January 10th, 2013, then the winning campaign receives an additional $50,000 courtesy of Mozilla Firefox.  Lewa is working hard to win this challenge and we hope you’ll help. If you were thinking of making a donation to Lewa this year, consider making it on Nicky’s CrowdRise page and helping Lewa win an additional $50,000, enough to protect five rhinos for an entire year.   On top of that, the organization that raises the most funds this week (December 3rd through 10th) wins an additional $5,000 , so why not make a donation today?

Thank You
Can you imagine a better Christmas gift than helping to protect and care for rhinos like little Nicky? This frisky fellow has won our hearts and we hope he’ll win yours too. 

“Initially he was a bit shy but he is slowly gaining confidence. . . he’s also learnt how to play in the mud, an activity he greatly enjoys!” says Yusuf, one of Nicky’s handlers.  To see more adorable photos and videos of Nicky’s playtime, mud baths and walks with Watson family dogs, go to: 

During this sad time, Nicky serves as a happy reminder of why we must continue to do everything we can to protect these magnificent animals.  Lewa would like to send a big Thank You to everyone for the outpouring of support for Nicky so far.  While we cannot know what his future holds, we do know that the Lewa teams will do everything possible to ensure he lives a happy and healthy rhino life. Please take a moment to show your support this holiday season by clicking on the link above!