Great expectations

Meet Najin, one of the rarest mammals in the world. This critically endangered animal is a Northern white rhino and there are now only seven of them left on the planet; which is why everyone at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, where she now lives, are crossing their fingers and hoping upon hope that Najin is pregnant. She hasn’t been interested in males for more than 10 years, but has been observed mating with Northern white rhino bull Suni several times this year.

Our shot of Najin featured in The Sun and The Mirror newspapers this week.

Najin and Suni, along with two other precious Northern white rhinos, were moved to Africa from a zoo in the Czech Republic just three years ago in the hope they might be encouraged to breed again when back on home turf. The future of this rare subspecies of rhino rests with these last four breeding individuals in Kenya’s Laikipia region. (The other three remaining northern white rhinos are in zoos, two in San Diego and one in the Czech Republic)

It now looks like the move could prove to have been a success because the last time Najin, who was a good breeder in the past, mated was over a decade ago and until recently she’s just not been interested in males at all.

It’s hoped it might prove possible to bring the Northern white rhino back from the brink of extinction, as happened with the now more numerous Southern white rhino, which recovered from a population of only 20 or so individuals.

The four special rhinos are heavily protected on the reserve and are looked after by special ‘caregivers’ who spend long periods with the rhinos to ensure they are safe and get the best nutrition.

Sudan, another of Ol Pejeta’s Northern white rhino bulls

Conservationists on Ol Pejeta are being careful not to get too excited until things are officially confirmed – mating in rhinos doesn’t mean a pregnancy is guaranteed – but they are quietly hoping for a positive outcome.

People may remember the translocation of the four rhinos from the Czech Republic to Africa in 2009, as it was featured on the BBC television documentary ‘Last Chance to See’ with Stephen Fry.

Northern white rhino numbers declined due to relentless slaughter for their horn, which is currently an escalating problem for all rhino species in Africa.

The original range states of the Northern white rhino are Southern Sudan, the Central African Republic, Zaire and Uganda.

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2 Comments on “Great expectations”

  1. themasaidiary March 28, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Reblogged this on The Maasai Diary and commented:
    I hope she is too! Please keep her safe!

  2. saledge December 5, 2016 at 4:31 pm #

    hopefully everything works out for the best and we can bring the white rhino back from almost extinction!

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