A calf has been born among the six rhinos living at the breeding sanctuary in Nakasongola district. This is the first birth of a rhino in Uganda in the last 20 years.
"The calf is 3 days old, but the mother is too protective so it is difficult to get close to them to establish its gender," said Angie Genade, the executive director of Rhino Fund Uganda. The mother is one of four rhinos that were donated by the Disney Animal Kingdom to help the breeding of rhinos at Nakasongola for re-introduction into the country's parks.
Rhinos are globally endangered because of their valuable horns. In Uganda the last northern white rhino was last seen in 1982 in Murchison Falls National Park while the last black rhino was last seen in Kidepo in 1983. According to wildlife officials, rhinos were killed during the civil unrest that Uganda experienced in the 1970s and early 1980s.
After realising that rhinos in Uganda had become extinct conservationists formed the Rhino Fund Uganda, an NGO, to bring back the rhinos. A breeding sanctuary was established in Nakasongola. The Sun Park in South Africa has donated a further 12 rhinos which are expected in country in November 2009. There are believed to be around 600 rhinos in Kenya, about 100 in Tanzania and the DRC had about 10 in the Garamba National Park before the Lord's Resistance Army camped there.
(Original article by Gerald Tenywa, The New Vision, 28th June 2009)