As the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, we have a huge responsibility — not just to protect the rhinos that live here, and amplify their voice across the world, but to share the lessons we’ve learned in the 30 years we’ve been conserving rhinos. From just four rhinos in 1989, we have already surpassed our 2020 target of 120 black rhinos, and are now home to 134 black rhinos. A fantastic achievement that in itself bring us a whole new set of challenges.
How have we done this?
We couldn’t do what we do without the support of the communities living around Ol Pejeta. Over the years, our investments in community connections and livelihoods have not only linked wildlife conservation to improved healthcare, education and water access, but built an invaluable trust, through community leaders, with the people along our borders. Our dedicated community development programmes team work with communities to address their most pressing issues, and come up with collective solutions. These connections also prove valuable for our security teams, who are able to collect intelligence on potential wildlife threats. Proactively addressing human/wildlife conflict has fostered more positive attitudes toward wild animals too.
Dedicated Security Team
With the rhino poaching threat just as present as ever, our security teams need to stay at the top of their game. Together with partners, we’ve invested in training and equipment for our 24/7 security teams, who conduct daily patrols, wildlife monitoring exercises and anti-poaching operations. Our specialised K-9 unit features highly trained dogs from overseas; two bloodhounds who can track scents over miles of rough terrain, and an attack dog who is trained to support rangers in violent situations.
We’re always looking for ways to use technology to make our wildlife conservation operations more efficient and effective, and our recently launched Wildlife Tech Lab is dedicated to doing just this. The Tech Lab team recently installed a smart fence monitor, in partnership with Ingenious Things, a French IOT company. It identifies fence outages in real time and triggers an email to the team who are then deployed to the location of the outage. No more fence breakages left unattended overnight.