Hope and sadness at Ol Jogi
(This article was originally published in The Horn, autumn 2015. Author Jamie Gaymer - Wildlife and Security Manager, Ol Jogi).
Ol Jogi had a very positive start to 2015 with a black rhino born on 21 January. It was devastating therefore, when a month later, the same calf died of natural causes. Drama at Ol Jogi was not far away. On 12 March one of our young white rhinos had her first calf but our euphoria was short-lived in a dramatic turn of events.
On 13 March the dreaded call came in that the carcasses of two young white rhinos had been identified by monitoring rangers. Standard operating procedures were enacted whilst newly acquired scene-of-the-crime skills were put to the test in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kenya Police Criminal Investigation Department.
Since this tragedy, we have experienced births from an additional four black rhino and three white rhino. It is due reward for all the tireless hard work that our men on the ground endeavour to do.
This year I’ve attended an advanced rhino scene-of-the-crime course, a rhino DNA course, two National Rhino Strategy Review workshops and also travelled to the UK to present on behalf of the APLRS. The Ol Jogi Kenya Police Reservist team has undergone commander’s card training and medic courses with 51 Degrees. The safety and well-being of our men is paramount.
We have received tremendous and heart-warming support from many individuals and institutions. The “Running for Rangers” team have donated a large amount to procure uniforms for Ol Jogi security. An anonymous conservationist philanthropist also donated a considerable sum to alleviate our security vehicle running expenses. SRI have continued to be a pillar of support and have directly or indirectly, through the APLRS, supported several core projects from which Ol Jogi benefits.
Since November 2014, we have sent grants totalling £65,265 to Ol Jogi, thanks to an anonymous donor.