Luweero To House Biggest Rhino Camp

PLANS are underway to establish in Luweero, one of the biggest black rhino sanctuary in Africa. Yvonne Verkaik, the project co-ordinator of Rhino Fund Uganda, said on Tuesday that plans for setting up the sanctuary on an 80-square kilometre ranch in Luweero have already started.

The rhinos will be allowed to breed and then freed into the wilderness.

Verkaik told a press conference at Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe (UWEC) on Tuesday that we are still looking for funds to undertake the activities because this a big project.

The black and white rhinos existed in Uganda but became extinct in the 1980s, with the last white rhino killed in 1983. Their horns are used to make daggers and medicine in south east Asia. The rhino project will be done in phases, with the first being the introduction of the white rhinos at UWEC.

The establishment of the Luweero sanctuary will constitute the second phase. Verkaik said the third phase, that is likely to take place after many years, will be the introduction of the black rhinos into the wild. She said the Rhino Fund had imported two white rhinos from Kenya and the Kenya Wildlife Service would hand them over to the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

We expect the first white rhino to walk on Ugandan soil over the weekend. It will be a historic moment, Verkaik said. Beti Kamya, the UWEC executive director, said, We'll keep the white rhinos at UWEC to help create awareness about the need to conserve the rhinos. The white rhinos used to live in Ajai Wildlife Reserve in West Nile, northern Uganda.

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