Months ago, when we first saw the four-inch tracks in the rhino territory, we held our breath. A camera trap later confirmed the incredible news: a baby rhino had been born! It was hard to stay quiet, but we decided to keep our lips sealed, to give this little rhino the fighting chance it deserves.
Eastern black rhinos are critically endangered; their numbers have plummeted by 90% in the last three generations. Their keratin horns bring top dollar in eastern markets, and so they continue to be targeted by poachers. There are fewer than 600 Eastern black rhinos in Kenya today.
In partnership with Kenya Wildlife Service, Big Life has 51 rangers stationed in 5 outposts, dedicated to protecting the small population of rhinos in our area of operation. In 2017, there were only 23 direct sightings of these elusive animals during foot patrols. They are otherwise carefully monitored remotely via camera traps, safely nestled in the dense and wild volcanic terrain that is the Chyulu Hills.
You can’t keep a secret forever, and word is slowly spreading. So, for this Endangered Species Day, we’re happy to announce that our rhino population has officially grown from 7 to 8.
We all have a role to play to save these special animals. Please consider making a donation in honor of Endangered Species Day, and help our rangers keep this baby rhino and his family safe from harm.