Thursday, February 21, 2013

The day we helped save the Northern White Rhinos

It is no big secret that we love wildlife and want to do everything we can to help save all endangered species. While choosing just one is not an easy task, we do have favorites - animals that have touched our hearts and will forever have a special place within them. For Dylan and I these animals are the tigers and rhinos because we have connected with them on a personal level.

One of the ways we love helping save endangered animals and creating awareness about the animal is to symbolically adopt them. We have adopted many animals from the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, as well as some from World Wildlife Fund. We consider the adopted animals part of our family and carefully select who will be adopted next. One animal in particular that we want desperately to help is the Northern White Rhino. Every time we visit the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and see Nola, I can't help but feel a sadness that one day she won't be there anymore - yet at the same time I feel blessed to have known her since many people will never have the opportunity to see a Northern White Rhino in person.

Imagine my surprise and my joy when I saw a post on Facebook telling me that I could adopt a Northern White Rhino from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Africa.

Not just any rhino, but I could choose which rhino I wanted to symbolically adopt and help care for. As much as I wanted to adopt a rhino in my name, I knew that this would mean so much to Dylan - and it would make the perfect Valentine's Day present.

I chose to adopt Fatu who is a 12 year old female living at the conservancy with her mother Najin. Fatu is one of the four Northern White Rhinos who was translocated from the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic on December 20, 2009 to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

Fatu has been observed mating, which gives us all hope for the future of Northern White Rhinos.

I gave Dylan the adoption certificate before school on Valentine's Day and I don't think I have ever seen him so excited. Knowing that there are only 7 Northern White Rhinos left in the world today, we are now directly helping to care for one of them. We are making a difference.

Helping Rhinos is based in the United Kingdom and is proud to say that 100% of every donation received ends up where it is needed most - in the field protecting the rhinos! Along with the adoption certificate we received this picture of Fatu and several fact sheets about the rhinos.

Fatu's horns were cut down to ensure she remained safe during the translocation and to hopefully deter poachers. Her horns will grow back because they are made from keratin - just like our fingernails. They have no medicinal value.

Today is the day to make a difference because tomorrow may be too late. 

If you would like to help care for these beautiful animals, you can adopt a Northern White Rhino from just like we did. I can't tell you how important it is to keep hope alive and continue to spread awareness about the plight of the rhinos. 2012 was a very bad year for the rhinos and I'm praying that 2013 will be better. This chart from Helping Rhinos shows the most current numbers.

Want to learn more about the Ol Pejeta Conservancy? Did you know they are famous for their conservation work with endangered species and are the largest Black Rhino sanctuary in East Africa? For more information about Ol Pejeta, including how you can visit the conservancy, please visit

1 comment:

  1. This is a really good post, Michelle. Love the picture of Fatu. With all the zoo trips, animal adoptions and keeper friends, you have created an amazing bond with Dylan that will last him throughout his lifetime.