Pan-Arab multi-award winning movie star and producer, Mr. Khaled Abol Naga, is in Kenya to visit ‘Sudan’ the last male northern white rhino.
The popular celebrity shared with his 1.2 million followers on Twitter that he was currently on his way to Ol Pejeta Conservancy to meet the last male northern white rhino in the world. He hopes his visit will help raise international awareness to the plight of the northern white rhino, a subspecies whose future now depends solely on artificial methods of reproduction.
Naga is internationally known for his un-expected yet smart choices of scripts & roles and he also has a record of having his films picked up by international film festivals. Naga also has a very admirable record of social & human rights (specially child rights). He is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
The last male northern white rhino in the world, named Sudan, was moved to Kenya from Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic along with three other northern white rhinos in 2009. All previous breeding attempts in the Zoo had been futile, and the hope was that the climate and rich grasslands of Ol Pejeta, a native habitat for the animals, would provide them with more favourable breeding conditions. All natural breeding attempts – including attempts to cross-breed northern whites with the more populous southern white rhino – have proved fruitless. The only way now to ensure the survival of the northern white rhino subspecies is to raise $800,000 for IVF and other forms of assisted reproduction, and time is running out. At 43 years of age, Sudan’s clock is ticking.
The northern white rhino is a subspecies of white rhino, which used to range over parts of Uganda, Chad, Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Years of widespread poaching and civil war in their home range have devastated northern white rhino populations, and they are now considered to be extinct in the wild. Only five remain, three live on Ol Pejeta.
The Conservancy is the largest black rhino sanctuary in east Africa, with over 100 black rhino across its 90,000 acres. Innovative anti-poaching techniques; such as the use of highly trained ivory detection dogs, and even a pioneering anti-poaching drone, put Ol Pejeta at the cutting edge of conservation innovation. It also makes it one of the safest places for the northern white rhino to be.
During his three-day visit, Naga will meet Sudan and his rangers, learn what it takes to keep northern white rhinos safe on a daily basis, and discover what the future could hold.