A couple, wishing to remain anonymous but whose contribution to the rhino conservation nevertheless needs a mention and a standing ovation, has named the third of Kori's calves Waribe – meaning 'Unite' or 'Coming together' in Alur, a local vernacular. Kori's previous calves were named Justus and Laloyo by the same couple.
According to Rhino Fund Uganda's Angie Genade, CEO of RFU and Uganda's proverbial rhino lady, the naming of a newborn rhino is really a question of approaching RFU and coming to terms over naming rights, making a donation to the Rhino Fund – so far it has not been through open bidding but rather through 'bilateral' arrangements, and hey presto, a company, an organization or an individual will be able to put their, her or his chosen name to the little one.
Says Angie in response to questions raised recently when meeting her in Kampala during one of her rare visits to the city: 'There is no formal system for getting to name a rhino. [It is] pretty much a case of mailing me and enquiring as to the cost which is normally [around] US Dollars 5000.
If you are happy with that you put your name up with me to enable you to name the next rhino born and I manage that and keep you informed as to how things are going and when the baby is due and the birth etc. Once the baby is born, you give us the [chosen] name and do the [money] transfer.
Once the money is received in the Rhino Fund bank account we make it known what the babies name is on Facebook, [on] our website www.rhinofund.org and on notice boards and[announce] who named it. After that we send quarterly updates and photos of the rhino you named. Names should preferably be African names and [if possible] not more than 6 letters (this makes it easier on data sheets etc)'.
Another birth is expected in a few weeks time on Ziwa, which will bring the number of young rhinos born on the sanctuary to 9 and the total number to 15, a remarkable achievement and against many odds stacked against RFU at the onset, when many doubted it could be done, the funds could be raised to create the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and the breeding programme, once the 6 adult rhinos had arrived, could actually take root.
Those early critics have been silenced over the years and the rate of reproduction, just over two years, has amazed many in the rhino conservation community around the world, who now seek answers to what RFU has been doing over the past year to achieve such a phenomenal success rate.
Visits to the sanctuary are free, i.e. no entrance fee is charged, and those who wish to go and track rhinos by foot can do so after making a donation at the sanctuary headoffice towards rhino conservation and to raise much needed funds to pay for veterinary services and the now over 90 staff who are tasked to protect the sanctuary and the prized rhinos, monitor the animals, collect data and carry out research on rhino behaviour.
Watch this space for more news from Ziwa, as and when the next baby is born.