#Conservation: Ol Jogi shortlisted for the Pure Awards 2016

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ol jogi pure awards

Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy is one of 5 projects nominated for the “Conservation and Sustainability” category for the PURE Awards 2016.

PURE is a global community of heroes changing worlds by catalysing adventure, personal connections and a conscientious approach to the environment and local communities.

When it came to Conservation and Sustainability, the PURE Awards panel was looking for projects or initiatives that put Planet Earth on center stage, showing due responsibility to our natural resources and going above and beyond to protect our legacy – for the good of not only the tourism industry, but the rest of the world.

Vote for Ol Jogi by Monday, 12 September, 2016. The winners will be revealed at the Awards Party in Marrakech, Morocco on Tuesday, 13 September, 2016.

WHY WAS OL JOGI NOMINATED FOR THE PURE AWARDS

Alfie was the first black rhino in Kenya to have an attempted cataracts surgery. This groundbreaking operation involved experts from across Africa, and lead to Ol Jogi being shortlisted for a PURE Award.

In the morning of June 5, 2012, Jamie Gaymer, Ol Jogi’s Conservation and Wildlife Manager, received an urgent radio call from rangers on the ground. They had encountered a young bull rhino – Alfie – who was alone and walking into trees. On closer inspection, they found Alfie’s eyes to be opaque – a possible sign of cataracts. The same day, Ol Jogi chartered an aircraft to fly a veterinary ophthalmologist from Nairobi to Laikipia. By 2pm, Alfie had been darted and immobilized, and our fears confirmed – Alfie had Bilateral Mature Cataracts.

Ol Jogi already had a wildlife clinic and operating theatre at the time, but this had to be further modified to accommodate Alfie. What’s more, he would need a spacious recovery pen post-operation, which had to be built from scratch.

Alfie was wheeled into a rhino-sized, padded operating theatre on the 26th February 2013. Despite all their efforts, when Dr. Goodhead was finally able to inspect the cataract with an ultrasound, he concluded that Alfie’s eyes were inoperable.

While Alfie’s eyesight could not be saved, the preparations, infrastructure, research and lessons learned from this experience have been invaluable. Not only to Ol Jogi and the Kenya Wildlife Service, but to other rhino conservationists around the world. Alfie is now under 24/7 supervision in a large enclosure, but he is happy, healthy and thriving.

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SUSAN WONG

Susan Wong is the Editor of Capital Lifestyle, a resident photographer, an award-winning journalist, radio presenter, full-time adventurer, long-time admirer of anything edible, and a spicy food athlete at Capital FM.

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