Form III meet the Rhinos

A once in a lifetime experience.

Despite the limitations of life these days, Form III visited Africa this week and connected with some wonderful  Northern White Rhinos.  Although they couldn’t travel to Kenya, Kenya came to us via Zoom!

Ms Eng, Head of Art takes up the story:  

‘Over the summer, Arianna in Form III, our 11+ Art Scholar, entered an international art competition, ‘The Art of Survival’, run by the Ol Pejeta Conservancy and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation which was open to children all round the world, and won third prize!

Arianna’s prize-winning artwork

The prize was a Zoom session with the two remaining white rhinos, which are on the brink of extinction, and their handlers in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Nairobi. After a very informative presentation from Arianna about her experience, Form III were thrilled to travel virtually to Kenya for the once in a lifetime experience.

The time was 11.00 am in Nairobi, and the rhinos had just woken up from their naps! We met Eva and Jojo who work closely with the Northern White Rhinos, who talked to us about the lives of the last two female white rhinos who are now critically endangered since the death of Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino in 2018. Eva told us about how the two white rhinos were both currently undergoing IVF, with a Southern White Rhino as a surrogate as both Northern White Rhinos are unable to reproduce naturally due to problems with their uteruses. 

The conservancy also told us that poachers do not care about the rhinos and just want the horns which are a lot like our fingernails and have no medicinal properties whatsoever.

Sadly the rhinos are likely to become extinct within our lifetime, so a really important message that Eva gave us, to prevent this happening to other species, was that the responsibility of looking after the environment lay with not just the teachers, not just the rangers, but ‘every one of you, and me’.

Form III had so many questions, from the temperament of the rhinos to the other animals at the conservancy (we also met a warthog and her baby!) and thoroughly enjoyed the session.

We left the session agreeing that we all wanted to be ambassadors for the environment. Thank you so much to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy for their care and passion, and also to Arianna for generously sharing her prize with us.’

Many congratulations to Arianna on her achievement.  As Pope Francis has said:

‘Let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature,

protectors of one another and of the environment’.