On World Rhino Day, Borana Conservancy celebrates 2 years as a Rhino Sanctuary

Anti Rhino poaching Rangers on Borana Conservancy, Northern Kenya.
Anti Rhino poaching Rangers on Borana Conservancy, Northern Kenya.

The black rhinoceros has roamed the earth for five million years, yet it is now facing the greatest threat in its history – from poaching. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the black rhino is ‘teetering on the brink of extinction’. There are just over 5,000 left in the wild in Africa; in Kenya alone, 21 were killed during 2014. Rhino horn is now worth more than gold on the black market.

Two years ago, Borana Conservancy, a 32,000 acre cattle ranch, conservancy and high-end tourist lodge in northern Kenya, became the world’s newest rhino sanctuary, when 21 rhino were moved to its rolling hills from Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Lake Nakuru National Park.

Then, in 2014, the neighboring conservancies of Lewa and Borana became one large ecosystem, when the fence that divided them was brought down.

Joanna Eede’s recent interview with Sam Taylor, Borana’s Chief Conservation Officer, marks both World Rhino Day and the 2-year anniversary of Rhino living on Borana for the first time since the 1970s.

*How many black rhino were relocated to Borana in September 2013 and how many live on Borana now?

21 were translocated and there are 21 black rhino on Borana now, including a female who has moved on to Borana from Lewa. We have had four births and five deaths. Four of these deaths were natural, due to predation and intraspecies competition, and one was lost in a poaching incident.

*What has changed on Borana in the past 2 years?

The fence that used to separate Borana and Lewa came down. This means that the conservancies of Borana and Lewa are now one ecosystem; an amazing achievement that has created 93,000 acres of rhino habitat, with the potential to become a Key 1 —> Read More