Kenya: Ol Jogi

Ol Jogi is a stronghold for the Eastern black rhino and your support is helping to save this subspecies is allowed to thrive. 

Track record of success

 The black rhino population in Kenya is the third largest in Africa. Ol Jogi has been historically a stronghold for the Eastern black rhino subspecies, with 85% of Eastern black rhinos living in Ol Jogi’s habitat.

Ol Jogi was established in 1980 and is located in Laikipia County.Ol Jogi has proven to be one of the most successful breeding programmes in Kenya and has contributed many rhinos to the overall national population by helping restock areas where rhino numbers were dwindling.

The Kenyan government aims to grow the country’s black rhino population to more than 2,000 rhinos, and so coordination between Laikipia’s rhino sanctuaries is vital to achieve this ambition.  As such, Ol Jogi is a part of the Association of Private Land Rhino Sanctuaries. The Association’s main roles are to coordinate anti-poaching security efforts between its members and to provide biological management of Laikipia’s rhino population as a whole.

As one of the oldest conservancies in Laikipia, Ol Jogi has made a huge impact on rhino conservation across the region. Ol Jogi has a distinguished tracker dog team, being the first Kenyan conservancy to deploy a Dog Squad back in 1989, when they imported a team of Belgian Malinois. These lessons have now been put to great use in neighbouring rhino sanctuaries and in other projects across Africa.

For more than 30 years, the conservancy saw great success in anti-poaching. Ol Jogi did not lose a single rhino to poaching between 1980 until 2012. But as the recent poaching crisis has escalated since the mid-2000s, the threat has heightened and Ol Jogi suffered a number of attacks from poaching gangs.

Increased Poaching threat 

The Association of Private Land Sanctuaries (APLRS) is working with its members to create a level playing field when it comes to rhino breeding, anti-poaching and veterinary care for rhinos across Laikipia. To make sure all rhino conservancies in Kenya are working towards the same goals and at the best level possible, the Association has provided additional financial resources to Ol Jogi; the most notable of these being employment and training of more rhino security and monitoring personnel, supply of vital equipment, machinery including vehicles and aircraft, and have also acquired tracker dogs to assist in the follow up of poachers.

Ol Jogi alone has significantly increased its security expenditure and outputs in a bid to combat the poaching threat. 51 Degrees Ltd has been commissioned to provide annual ranger training, which includes an education beyond military tactics. Rangers have been taught first aid and other field-craft techniques that will not only lead to anti-poaching successes but will also greatly enhance their safety and welfare.

On a community level, Ol Jogi is working with local communities living near its boundaries and the authorities, to identify and investigate wildlife criminals and suspected poachers and traffickers. To ensure that wildlife benefits people living in the region and gain community support, Ol Jogi also has its own school that runs sustainable water projects in the community and teaches the community about sustainable grazing practices for cattle within a confined area. The conservancy supports a medical clinic, a Maasai women’s group, and has various micro-finance programs to encourage business development in the country. Collectively, all these efforts work towards creating a stable environment for rhino populations to thrive.

How your support helps

Save the Rhino and its valued donors are continuing to protect Kenya’s black rhino population from the twin threats of poaching and habitat loss by working with conservancies like Ol Jogi.

We’ve helped the team respond to threats as they arrive through an Emergency Fund – whereby funds are made available to cover 50% of the costs of treating injuries to black rhinos..

Your support has also helped build of additional bomas, special holding pens for rhinos, in order to safely hand-rear rhino calves that are in need of care. In March 2016, a black rhino named Manuela had her first calf on Ol Jogi but the calf, Meimei, was born completely blind and in need of treatment and needed to be relocated to Ol Jogi’s rhino enclosures. Thanks to the help of our donors, situations like these become success stories. Within a few months the calf began to regain its eyesight and will eventually be released back into the wild.