Photo Credit: Katie Cleary (One of the last female northern white rhinos on earth)
Learning that Kenya is on the fast-track to strengthening laws which will make wildlife poaching a capital offense was among the many momentous moments that transpired yesterday during an event to launch a new stamp in honor of Sudan, the last remaining northern white rhino left on earth who tragically passed away in March.
As revealed by Najib Balala, the Minister for Tourism and Wildlife, and reported by Xinhuanet, once the new laws are passed, “offenders of wildlife crimes will face the death penalty in accordance with the laws of the land.”
“We have in place the Wildlife Conservation Act that was enacted in 2013 and which fetches offenders a life sentence or a fine of $200,000 U.S. dollars,” Balala stated at the event which took place at what was Sudan’s home, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. “However, this has not been deterrence enough to curb poaching, hence the proposed stiffer sentence.”
Richard Vigne, the CEO of Ol Pejeta Conservancy noted that the tragic story of the northern rhino will be captured forever as a signal to the world.
“Earlier today, in collaboration with Postal Corporation of Kenya and Kenya Wildlife Service, we launched commemorative Northern White Rhino stamps,” Ol Pejeta Conservancy shared on its Facebook page yesterday. “The stamps will go a long way towards preserving Kenya’s natural heritage as well as raising awareness worldwide on the plight of the northern white rhino.”
While there are sadly only two remaining female northern white rhinos in the world, Vigne reiterated that “Ol Pejeta and Kenya Wildlife Service are working closely with the scientific community to try to recover this species from imminent extinction” through in vitro fertilization.
It was also revealed during the event that the remains of Sudan will be preserved in a national conservation museum to be established by the Tourism ministry.
WAN recently visited the Ol Pejeta Conservancy to film the animal welfare documentary “We Are One”, and spoke with CEO, Richard Vigne about the plight of the last two remaining female Northern White Rhinos. Once we lose them, that is the end for the northern whites. They have been here for millions of years and now the species is on the verge of extinction, all because of human greed for a horn that is made of the same components as your finger nail. Something must be done to save them.