The Corona Virus has ground travel to a halt. International borders are shut. The tourism industry is being dealt an immense blow.
What happens when tourism is instrumental to supporting environmentalism? What happens when a species survival depends on people visiting?
James Mwenda is a conservationist and caretaker of the last two female Northern White Rhinos on the planet at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.
Groundbreaking science is being used attempting to save the species. Researchers were able to store semen from the last male rhino and are currently attempting invitro fertilization. Just this past August, researchers were able to retrieve eggs from the females in a never before attempted surgery performed by Cesare Galli, a veterinarian from Italy who is the first to have cloned a horse.
Groundbreaking surgeries are one thing. But without the funding, the men who guard these rhino’s 24 hours a day and 7 days a week have been put into quite a predicament.
James Mwenda stated, “Ol Pejeta has really been grounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, being an organization that relies on Tourism to fund 80 percent of its operations cost, the lack of funds derived through tourism and its complementary aspects has left it struggling to sustain its conservation efforts putting into compromise its successful rhino conservation efforts, where it boosts of a 130 black rhinos and ranked as the largest black rhino sanctuary in East and Central Africa and a home to over 100 species and 300 bird species.”
It is important to note that without considerable effort, all rhino’s in the wild face extinction within the next ten years without considerable and costly protection efforts.
How can you help?
“Conservation is at stake now and its surely it is our moral duty to do anything we can to protect and make sure our planet which is our home stays safe and which provide the fundamental elements of our .” James suggested, “People can donate by visiting our website www.olpejetaconservancy.org or by donating to our emergency appeal www.olpejetaconservancy.org/emergencyappeal Or sharing the work we do with family and friends.”