By Frank Kamuntu
Nakasongola: A white rhino last week gave birth to a female calf bringing their total number at the Ziwa sanctuary and wildlife ranch Nakasongola to 31.
#ThursdayTravel#RaeRuparelia is the name given to the new born rhino at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola. Good gesture & thanks for the support Naiya K and @RajivRuparelia #VisitUganda pic.twitter.com/ROP1cEw5U5
— Tourism Uganda (@Tourismuganda) December 17, 2020
Now, in the new development, Rajiv and wife Naiya Ruparelia took a visit to the sanctuary to witness the naming of the baby rhino that has been named after their father’s name “Ruparelia”.
“Rae Ruparelia” is the name given to the new born rhino at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola. 🦏
I was joined by my lovely wife, Naiya Ruparelia to witness the naming on behalf of Ruparelia Foundation. pic.twitter.com/B46zT9NVxw
— Rajiv Ruparelia (@RajivRuparelia) December 17, 2020
White rhinos were wiped out of the country in the early 1980s but their numbers have increased since the introduction of a breeding programme in 2006.
Unlike the northern white rhino, the southern white rhinos are not endangered – although their numbers have dwindled due to poaching.
The first birth recorded at the 70-square kilometre rhino sanctuary was in 2009, three years after the introduction of a breeding programme for the rare white rhino species in Uganda under the management of Uganda Rhino Fund.
The sanctuary which is located 176 kilometres north of Kampala City in Nakasongola District, is Uganda’s breeding centre for the rare herbivores.
It’s part of an effort to boost the tourism industry and preserve the endangered white rhinos.
Uganda earned $1.6b (about Shs5.8 trillion) from tourism in the 2018/2019 financial year.
However, the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus early this year across the world, dealt a blow to the sector since the country’s borders were closed to visitors.