The Rhino Fund Uganda, the only wildlife conservancy in the country where rhinos can be seen in open wilderness, earlier this week brought together a large number of officials from the communities neighbouring the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, aimed to raise attention of community leaders and security personnel for the growing threat to the rhinos.
The RFU had taken a series of measures to strengthen perimeter security for the sanctuary and observes the rhinos on Ziwa around the clock but under the motto that prevention is better than cure, and prompted into action by ongoing poaching of rhinos in neighbouring Kenya, has the Rhino Fund management acted to widen the net of surveillance around the sanctuary.
Angie Genade, CEO of the Rhino Fund and in charge of the rhino breeding programme on Ziwa, called for a meeting with government officials, community leaders and representatives of security organs deployed in the districts to discuss rhino security. The meeting was hosted on the sanctuary by the owners of Amuka Safari Lodge, the only upmarket accommodation facility on the 17.000 acres former cattle farm. This is the first time that such a concerted effort has been made in Uganda and that such a meeting has been called to discuss security matters and was very successful as over 110 participants were present at the event.
Notably is a contingent of the country’s tourism police now deployed on the sanctuary to strengthen on site security, over and above the RFU rangers and a small number of armed Uganda Wildlife Authority personnel.
Rhino breeding has shown excellent results on Ziwa with the adult females reproducing every two years and with entry to the sanctuary free of charge – though the tracking of the rhinos on foot requires a donation to RFU – have visitor numbers shot up sharply over the past years and established Ziwa as a must visit attractions en route to or from Murchisons Falls National Park.