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Trio racing for the endangered Kenya Mountain Bongo

Bongo Moja and Bongo Mbili at the Mount Kenya Safari Club before the 2018 Classic Safari Rally. PHOTO/Courtesy

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29- The Savage Rally Team participating in the Top Fry Classic Safari Rally 2018 is all set for the gruelling race that revs off from Nanyuki this Thursday.

The team comprising of three classic Datsun Rally cars will be racing in the five-day rally event organized by Rift Valley Motorsports Club, to raise funds and awareness on the plight of the critically endangered Kenyan Mountain Bongo antelope.

Currently under breeding management and protection at the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy the rare Kenyan Mountain Bongo antelope has a population of about 100 in the wild globally, way below the threshold of 250 mature individuals required to make a genetically stable population.

Drawn for flag off at positions 12, 16 and 23 respectively, the Savage Rally Team will comprise of, Jonathan Savage navigated by Kieran Day in a Datsun 260Z, Quentin Savage navigated by Adam Bowen in a Datsun 180B.

The third Savage Rally Team car will be handled by Steve Parkinson and Russel Savage in a Datsun 260Z.

Speaking when he confirmed the trios’ readiness ahead of the Friday flag off, Savage Rally Team leader, Jonathan Savage, said the three cars will all spot distinct Kenyan Mountain Bongo livery with Bongo Moja, Bongo Mbili and Bongo Tatu identity tags on their windshields.

The Top Fry Classic Safari Rally will be flagged off by Laikipia County Governor, Nderitu Muriithi from the Sweetwaters Serena Camp at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Laikipia County.

Drivers participating in the Rally will cover a competitive distance of more than 1000kms through the gruelling Laikipia and Baringo County terrain ahead of the Parc Ferme finish at Lake Bogoria Spa Resort on Monday.

With about 70 Mountain Bongo antelopes at the MKWC, The Kenyan Mountain Bongo, is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species which is widely recognized as the most comprehensive, objective global approach for evaluating the conservation status of plant and animal species.