Our Conservation

James Mwenda

Caretaker of the last two northern white rhinos at Ol Pejeta Conservancy

"I am fulfilling a promise I made to Sudan (the last male northern white rhino). On the day of his passing, I saw him dropping a tear and I promised to be his voice, for what he stood for with regard to species extinction. I knew him as a friend, I called him 'Buddy'. Trust me, he knew who he was, he felt he was at the edge and allowing me to lay my hands on him was a lesson he wished me to embrace.

Rhino are a key species whose existence directly influences the wellbeing of other species. In the journey to keep them safe the entire ecosystem is kept alive. If the fate of the near extinction of the northern whites serves to correct us, then we can all collectively agree that the time is now, to guarantee the wellbeing of many more individual species.

How do I explain how it was, looking after the last male northern white rhino known to live on earth. How do I explain in simple words how it feels waking up every day and watching through the eyes of the last two girls, Najin and Fatu, as extinction reckons on the other side. I call them the ‘Royal Girls’, Fatu is my girlfriend and I call her this to help me connect with them and fit in their shoes. I have a problem telling her whenever I travel away!"

Craig Spencer

Founder of The Black Mambas

"The rhino population has been all but brought to its knees during this last 6 years. The loss of a single rhino now, is more damaging, more significant to the species than 10 losses, 5 years ago!

We need to take great pride in the interventions that we are responsible for: dogs, trained customs officials, prosecutors and rangers, as well as equipment / technology and community engagement. If not for these, there would surely be no rhino left.

Most of the Black Mambas started because they needed a job, but now, it has become a source of dignity to be a Black Mamba. They get given a break for the first time in their lives. It is as much about poverty relief as it is about conservation.

The Black Mambas have literally ‘switched off’ the snaring, and the detection rate of threats, of tracks coming in or fences cut, is now almost 100%."

Daryll Pleasants

Animals Saving Animals - founded in 2016 and dogs are now deployed in five African countries with tremendous success

"We can all play a role in the preservation of our planet. Change doesn't happen through belief and principles, it happens through conscious action"

Following a volunteer trip to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, assisting in the training of their dog section, I realised what difference dogs could make to anti-poaching patrols. They are capable of tracking at night, can cover far more ground (and faster) than humans, and cannot be bribed! I realised too that dogs had a far greater role in conservation than was being achieved at that time and from this the triple role anti-poaching dog evolved. Currently in Africa, dogs tend to be trained in one discipline, i.e. to patrol, apprehend or track. The dogs I am training are capable of fulfilling all these roles."

Richard Vigne

Managing Director of Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya

"The absolute truth is, if we humans don’t urgently change the way we interact with the planet and the way we consume, we will soon be left with a home totally bereft of wild things and wild places and we will be much the poorer for it.

What is happening to the northern white rhino is a simple signal to what is happening to thousands of other species across the planet as a result unsustainable human activity. (Also attributed to Simon Jones in a Tweet!)

Our challenge, in the face of burgeoning human populations is, how can we make conservation of wildlife and wild places valuable to the everyday lives of poor people who see no benefit in wildlife, have other priorities and see wildlife only to be eaten or poached for profit."

Giles Clark

Wildlife TV Presenter, Conservationist and Patron of Helping Rhinos

"A healthy environment is paramount for every single living species, including us, and yet we are playing Russian roulette with our ecosystems.

Meeting Sudan (the last male northern white rhino who died in March 2018) was an emotional moment that made me wonder, how did we do so little to protective northern white rhino and its natural world."

Patrick Ayree

Wildlife TV Presenter and Conservationis

"Megafauna such as elephant and rhino are a keystone species and play a vital role for so many animals that live in the same ecosystem, same habitat. Rhino are Africa’s resident gardners, ecosystem engineers. Their loss could permanently alter the diversity of the savannah ecosystem as we know them and see even more destruction of other animals and plants."

Simon King

Wildlife TV Presenter and Conservationist

"In the process of saving and conserving an animal like the rhino, you are conserving everything around it. In the fabric of life, every stitch we unpick, we threaten the entire suit."