Back to Ol Pejeta, I am brought to greet two of the world’s remaining seven Northern White Rhinos – Najin and Suni. I am not sure if they remember me from our last meeting however they give me a sniff and continue grazing their meal of hay. I learn that three of the seven are beyond breeding age and that crossing the Northern whites with the Southern is perhaps the only chance of keeping the bloodlines going. So far there seems to be little interest in mating.
The two huge southern whites in the enclosure keep trying to muscle in on the hay action. Their keepers raise their arms to shoo them away. It’s quite comical seeing these huge animals backing off from the keepers.
Poaching has become worse since I was last here and in South Africa the number of animals poached continues to increase.
We must reach rhino horn consumers and persuade them that the theft, killing, cruelty, and threat of extinction is not worth the imagined benefit they believe they are getting from using the horn. It will be their friends, relatives, neighbors, and business colleagues, who can persuade them. Perhaps that might be you. Please do what you can to save these incredible animals from oblivion.
On September 13, 2013, Yao Ming returned to Africa, nearly one year after his first visit. He visited Kenya and the animals he works to protect. This is the diary of his journey.