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Six white rhino moved to Lewa from Solio Game Reserve.

January 10, 2005 Sara Spendrup

The Conservation Policy of Solio Ranch and the Parfet Family have always been to breed rhino within Solio to restock new areas within Kenya. As part of this policy a very kind donation was made by the Parfet's of six white rhino from Solio to The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

The Lewa capture team arrived at Solio on the evening of 27th December 2004 in preparation to catch all six rhino on the 28th and 29th December. Three trucks complete with rhino crates and loading ramps, Super-cub spotter plane and pilot, camp equipment, darting equipment and a 22 man capture team assisted by the Kenya Wildlife Service veterinarian Dr. Manyibe were all set to start at 7.00am on the 28th.

The intention was to dart and catch three females and three males between the ages of three to five years old. Solio holds a very healthy population of one hundred plus white rhino and so finding suitable animals was not a problem. In fact by midday two females and one male were already on their way from Solio to Lewa, a journey of three hours by truck. All arrived safely and were free released onto the Conservancy, without any hitches.

The trucks turned around and headed straight back to Solio, arriving at camp at midnight. Again a 7.00am start, and this time by 11.00am two females and one male were on their way to their new home - Lewa, where they were safely set free.

There are often so many problems of varying types and degrees with wildlife capture, but I am very pleased to say that this operation could not have gone better. Every aspect, from the Solio staff assistance, KWS's help and support, The LWC capture team and finally the cooperation of the rhino themselves, with six darts for six animals all on foot, who can complain?

On behalf of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a very big thank you to the Solio Management and Mr. Ed Parfet in particular.

Richard Moller - Security and Wildlife Coordinator

We need to name these rhino urgently! At the moment they are identified by a number only and they need names. For more information on the naming please contact Sara Spendrup on sara@lewa.org