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Rain & Rhino Calves.

November 02, 2004 Sara Spendrup

It is now November and we are taking stock whilst the rain falls! We have had over 15 inches of rain so far (we usually see about 10 inches at this time of year) and the Conservancy has turned a verdant green - the change is so dramatic from just three weeks ago. All the elephant (other than the odd straggler) have now left for the refreshed lands to the north.

Our rhino population has increased by one more taking the number of black to 40 and with our white population at 36 so we are now 76 in all. Unfortunately we did loose a young baby last week when a two day old calf was trampled on, probably by her mother Nyota. This was Nyota's third calf proving she can be a good mother.

Lewa's track record of black rhino births since inception is 45 calves born, 35 still alive and eight black translocated to other sanctuaries and many more white rhino moved to other sanctuaries. Not a bad record.

We are still seeing poaching of elephant to our north and in the Mukogodo Forest with the finding of a few scattered carcasses. It is usual at this time of year as the elephant disperse into less secure areas.

We are now looking forward to the Christmas tourist season with tourist bookings still well up. Kenya is apparently the most popular destination in East Africa (again!).

Lewa continues to be very involved in providing security and back up to poaching incidents in other rhino sanctuaries. There is obviously a very high demand for rhino horn and this has stretched our security teams in recent months.

We have also carried out some security, drill and discipline training for community game scouts recently. Those communities recipient to this are West Gate, Kalama and Melako, all to the north of Lewa. It is a role that we think we are going to develop as our responsibility to capacity build for the communities in the Northern Rangelands Trust grows.