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Fresh Threats to the Survival of the Serengeti

»Posted on Nov 24, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Fresh Threats to the Survival of the Serengeti

Serengeti Must Not Die With the contentious and potentially lethal Serengeti Highway not yet fully out of the picture, and the route of a proposed railway line to from Tanga to Musoma on Lake Victoria kept a tightly guarded secret, rousing more suspicion about another battle between conservationists and politicians looming in the distance, it is now news about an equally contentious project to build an international airport near the Serengeti at Mugumu which is raising the temperatures once again. The current management plan for the greater Serengeti ecosystem, drawn up in 2005, specifically mentions human settlements and encroachment as one of the Serengeti’s greatest future threats, urging the authorities to refrain from encouraging ever more people...

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Saving the Environment, Tree by Tree

»Posted on Sep 28, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Saving the Environment, Tree by Tree

Interesting our youth in caring for the environment is part of our conservation efforts. Through our adjacent sister organization, the William Holden Wildlife Education Center, We maintain a tree nursery that supplies free trees to students to plant in their home areas. We are proud to be support this program. Thanks to our combined efforts there are now numerous other kids who are active in planting trees and “teaching” their parents to help conserve the environment for us all. Congratulations to our young tree ambassador Stephen Njoroge, here is his story: Stephen Njoroge is sipping a mango juice, dressed in a blue school uniform like any other boy his age. Mango trees are his favourite – but as an environmentalist, Njoroge loves trees of all...

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U.S. Senate Examines Illegal Ivory Trade

»Posted on May 30, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

U.S. Senate Examines Illegal Ivory Trade

United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on May 24 heard testimony about the immense scale of the illegal trade in wildlife products, amounting to up to $10 Billion annually. At the U.S. Senate Hearing, testimony regarding the clear connection between global insecurity and a surging ivory and rhino horn trade was heard by Senator John Kerry. Witnesses included Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton (Founder, Save the Elephants), Mr. John Scanlon (Secretary-General of CITES), and Tom Cardamone (Managing Director, Global Financial Integrity). Dr. Douglas-Hamilton testified that elephants are currently being killed at nearly the same rate as the 1980s, prior to the ivory ban. He noted that since 2007, illegal ivory seizures in Kenya have risen 800 percent and that...

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Elephants Now Think Twice About Midnight Snacks in Tanzania

»Posted on Apr 22, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Elephants Now Think Twice About Midnight Snacks in Tanzania

Farmers Find a Whiff of Chili Pepper Sends Pachyderms Packing and Saves Corn Crops By ANGELA HENSHALL – Link to Full Article MIKUMI VILLAGE, Tanzania Snap. Crack. Pop. That’s the sound of an African elephant with a dangerous case of the munchies crashing through underbrush at 25 miles per hour. Said Longwa, a 52-year-old farmer and father of nine, used to face down crop-raiding elephants with nothing but a flashlight. Others in Mikumi village would beat tin cans or light fires; some exploded homemade pipe bombs. But the sound and fury didn’t deter the largest land mammals on Earth from staging nightly assaults on fields of corn and watermelon. During the worst period of crop raids several years ago, charging elephants killed three people from...

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Leopards Galore

»Posted on Jan 26, 2012 in Blog, Game Ranch | 0 comments

Leopards Galore

For the last few months our game scouts have found a number of remains of some of our free ranging animals. The tell tale signs of leopard could be seen in the vicinity of the kills. Footprints revealed there were at least 3 or more different leopards that visited the Conservancy regularly. Of late, they had taken up permanent residence at this most convenient “dinner table”. They obviously had discovered a favorite gourmet food provider: easy to catch gazelles, Llama, even one baby bongo fell prey. Meanwhile, at the adjacent Mount Kenya Safari Club leopard sightings were reported by guests, confirming just how bold these intelligent hunters had become. That did it. Muraya, one of our keepers and expert at trapping, went to work. Within a week he was...

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Kenyan School Children’s First Encounter with Wildlife

»Posted on Jan 12, 2012 in Blog, Education | 0 comments

Kenyan School Children’s First Encounter with Wildlife

Schools are back and already a number of lucky students started off the year with a visit to our animal orphanage. The majority of Kenyan kids have no opportunity to see the wealth of wildlife their country has to offer. They may live in cities or remote rural areas. Most of them would normally have no access to the game rich areas. There are of course no Zoos and a trip to the game park is out of reach for most families. Many years ago, Bill Holden and the Hunts started inviting area schools to visit the animal orphanage at their Mount Kenya Game Ranch. The children had a wonderful time. From there grew our educational programs. Later we founded the William Holden Wildlife Foundation in order to carry on the educational programs in earnest and in the memory of...

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Year End Newsletter 2011

»Posted on Dec 30, 2011 in Blog, Newsletter | 0 comments

Year End Newsletter 2011

Dear Friends, It has been an exciting long year! Duma Duke has not been too talkative of late. Exercising his well-earned right of seniority, he prefers to laze around, showing off his still impressive magnificence. He and siblings are up early each morning on their high “throne” overlooking all the other residents of the Orphanage and the Conservancy’s plains beyond. Not quite expected so soon, our “New Years’s baby” arrived a few days early… this precious fawn, born on Christmas day is our newest and as yet very shy baby bongo. Instinct demands the infant antelope to stay hidden, safe where “Mom” left it in some bushes in the suni sanctuary. For now only “mom” is aware of its sex. We do not...

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Our Miss Kate on the Big Day

»Posted on May 1, 2011 in Blog, Bongo News | 0 comments

Our Miss Kate on the Big Day

While over 60 million viewers delighted in watching the royal English wedding, we were having a bit of fun with our own Ms. Kate and her friends at the Animal Orphanage. Do you have a “Prince for Ms. Kate,” you asked. While Prince William and his beautiful bride followed their heart, but there’s no such luxury in the animal world. Not unlike in mankind’s own ancestry, “good breeding” is regulated by science concerned with “lineage.” Still, we do have a handsome young bongo in mind, But until they meet she will continue to delighting us all with her graceful beauty and exceptional good nature. To help insure her future you can donate to Ms Kate’s “trousseau” benefiting the bongo rehabilitation back to the...

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Celebrating the Royal Wedding at Mt. Kenya

»Posted on Apr 27, 2011 in Blog, Bongo News | 0 comments

Celebrating the Royal Wedding at Mt. Kenya

A little more than 6 months ago we named this little new born baby bongo “Ms Kate” at the Animal Orphanage. She has since stolen all of our hearts with her beauty and totally loving personality. The royal wedding fever has not missed the slopes of Mount Kenya, so Bea, Fundi and the keepers are organizing a “feast” for all the animals to celebrate!! No better time than this to let your imagination run wild and make a donation towards a free future for these beautiful creatures. Recommend on Facebook Tweet about...

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Article in Destination magazine

»Posted on Mar 21, 2011 in Blog, Education, Game Ranch | 0 comments

Article in Destination magazine

Here is an article published in the March, 2011, edition of East Africa’s Destination magazine, written by Juliet Barnes. “In the vast savannahs of Africa there is a dimension of time and space that is an echo of our own beginnings and which reminds us that we were not born initially to live in the concrete jungle” -William Holden Snakes Suffer Too. Poor old puff adders – nobody likes them. I felt a shard of pity when I heard that they’re supposed to live in hot, dry areas, but nowadays they’re being found on the forested slopes of Mount Kenya. Like us, snakes are victims of climate change. I looked at the stuffed puff adders, amongst many other specimens at The William Holden Wildlife Foundation Education Centre: The African...

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The Magic of the African Night

»Posted on Mar 1, 2011 in Blog, Bongo News | 0 comments

The Magic of the African Night

One night late last year high on the Mountain above us, secret romance did its magic. Prince William proposed to his long time love Kate Middleton and she gracefully accepted to become his future Queen of England. That same night a baby bongo was born, (almost within earshot of the lone lovers, we like to think). We named the beautiful little antelope ‘Miss Kate’ in honor of the future queen of England. ‘Miss Kate’ will remain here in the safety of the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy until she reaches breeding age and her own suitable “Prince” can be selected. It is hoped that together they will one day roam free and raise their own young in the wilderness of the Mount Kenya Forests where their ancestors once roamed. Please...

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Bongo Release News Flash

»Posted on Aug 26, 2010 in Blog, Bongo News | 0 comments

Bongo Release News Flash

Our first release of 10 Bongo that had been planned and worked on for the last two years has once again been postponed. Two days before the actual release, with all preparations, staff and equipment “at the ready” the Kenya Wildlife Service advised us that they wished to postpone the first release until they could clarify some technical issues. The KWS had received correspondence from a Dr. Jake Veasey (Woburn Abbey Safari Park, U.K.) and others, speculating that any release of captive bred bongo could somehow jeopardize the genetics of any bongo remaining in the wild. This was based on the assumption that a very small number of bongo (estimated at max 15) may have survived in the vast and dense forests on Mount Kenya. The KWS called for another...

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In Memory of Suzanne

»Posted on Jan 25, 2010 in Blog, Chicken Soup for Conservation | 0 comments

In Memory of Suzanne

(An excerpt from his letter with kind permission of Major Betterton) I attach pictures of my late wife taken during her recent visit to the animal orphanage. I think they show far better than I can express in words the effect of our visit and subsequent involvement with your organization. I don’t think they show a woman who was very ill, terminally ill in fact, but instead show someone who is full of joy and wonder from being where she was.  She was very proud of us becoming members of the Conservancy and her doctors confirmed that what happened there in Kenya improved her condition and extended her life in a very positive way. I know that this has nothing to do with the stated purpose of your work but I wanted you to know that, at least in my opinion, not...

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Father Christmas really lives on Mount Kenya

»Posted on Dec 20, 2009 in Blog | 0 comments

Father Christmas really lives on Mount Kenya

This year it was to be different – that gift of real, lasting value for your special someone. After all, Christmas is the season of giving… A mere few days away from prominently displaying your find under the Christmas tree it becomes painfully clear that you’ve left it too late again – or did Father Time play tricks on you? Suddenly, on what was supposed to be an idle weekend, you are faced with the familiar dilemma: another CD but which one did you buy last year? …a box of chocolates then but would someone else revert to the same emergency purchase? Or, wait, how about a lasting gift of life…..to show you care, make a difference in the lives of our countless orhan animals waiting to be returned to their ancestral home: The...

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Goodbye Jolly Good Fellow

»Posted on Nov 23, 2009 in Blog, Bongo News | 1 comment

Goodbye Jolly Good Fellow

“He who has done his best for his own time has lived for all times” – fitting words of wisdom by famous poet Schiller for the Bongo Boy who quietly left us this summer but will forever remain very special to us. Noah – once bright chestnut colored, his coat darkened with age. Almost black at the end, Noah’s presence, like that of his famous namesake, was synonymous with continued life. At the age of 3 he presented us with his firstborn, Karen, and over the years several brothers and sisters followed. Interestingly, in his prime, Noah seemed to have had a knack to add girls to his brood. In later years, the boys followed. His offspring made him the proud grandfather of 14 adorable Bongos, every single one adopted by well-wishers from...

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Tiny Preemie Deer

»Posted on Oct 17, 2009 in Blog | 1 comment

Tiny Preemie Deer

Sent to us by Sally, a friend of the MKWC, here are some unique pictures: Can you believe this?? You will probably never see this again. A little miracle!… with all the gloomy news floating out there… here is a nice nature story that is uplifting… This tiny deer was delivered by Cesarean section at a wildlife hospital after his mother was killed by a car. Little Rupert, who is so small he can fit in an adult’s hand, was born after vets failed in their battle to save his mother. At just six inches tall and weighing just over a pound, he is now in an incubator in the intensive care unit at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Buckinghamshire. The dear little deer, Rupert, pulls a striking pose for the camera. Staff are optimistic Rupert, now...

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Interspecies Adoption

»Posted on Oct 5, 2009 in Blog | 0 comments

Interspecies Adoption

Chaircat Duma Duke came across this story of inter-species adoption: A giant farm dog and a tiny piglet cuddle up as if they were family after the baby runt was dismissed by its own mother. Surrogate mum Katjinga, an eight-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, took on motherly duties for grunter Paulinchen – a tiny pot-bellied pig – and seems to be taking the adoption in her stride. Lonely Paulinchen was luckily discovered moments from death and placed in the care of the dog who gladly accepted it as one of her own. Thankfully for the two-week old mini porker, Katjinga fell in love with her at first sight and saved her bacon. And the unlikely relationship has made the wrinkly piggy a genuine sausage dog. In these adorable images Paulinchen can even be seen...

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Morning News from Mount Kenya

»Posted on May 14, 2009 in Blog | 0 comments

Morning News from Mount Kenya

The call of the Kenya Wildlife Service reached us at 6.30 a.m. – three Hartebeest, commonly also known by their melodic Swahili name Kongoni, will be arriving at Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy within the hour. These are no ordinary Hartebeest, however. They are Lelwel or more commonly known as Mount Kenya Hartebeest, a subspecies quite rare these days. The Hartebeest is often referred to as the clown of the plains. We like to think the Mount Kenya Hartebeest are much prettier, both in their more russet colour and their longer horns placed close together giving the animal a fashionable slender appearance. One month of careful preparation for this special moment is coming to an end as the safari-green truck is winding its way across the grassy plains of our...

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A Picture Painted by Nature

»Posted on Apr 30, 2009 in Blog | 0 comments

A Picture Painted by Nature

Wildfires are known to be one of nature’s most destructive forces but is the charred and lifeless vegetation that remains a poignant ending or a fascinating new beginning? Miraculously, a brilliant spectrum of colours can be seen from afar within weeks. Hundreds of species of wild flowers and plants have reappeared on Mount Kenya dispersed by wildlife and birds, one dazzling colour fading into another. Deep-blue Gentians compete with rocket-shaped Red-Hot Poker. The pale yellow flowers of the Sugar Bush shake hands with red-coloured African Gladiola. Erica, radiant in pink, add yet another shade, and dwarf shrubs and tussock grasses have made a home in gaps neglected by pole-like Giant Lobelia. The recent fires have swept across the grasslands so rapidly...

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Kenya on Fire

»Posted on Apr 10, 2009 in Blog | 0 comments

Kenya on Fire

A week ago: When the silhouette of Mount Kenya appeared against the soaring flames of extensive wildfires on the mountain it became clear that mother nature was being brought to her knees. Simultaneously, eight other forests in Kenya were burning ferociously destroying over 70,000 acres of forest, a damage estimated at over $ 4 million. No-one could put a value on the potential loss of some of the world’s most endangered species. Weeks of hot weather without rain had parched the vegetation, easy food for hungry blazes that were being hurried along by strong winds. In most cases, signs pointed towards illegal charcoal-burners and beekeepers as the cause of the fires. Unbeknown to us at that time: the moorlands above Kenya’s last indigenous forest would...

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The BBC captures our Bongo

»Posted on Mar 24, 2009 in Blog, Bongo News | 0 comments

The BBC captures our Bongo

January 2004 in retrospect: The BBC amongst other reputed television networks reports the return of 20 of Africa’s rarest and most elusive antelope, the Mountain Bongo, to Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy. 5 years on – January 2009: In anticipation of a first wilderness release later this year, a BBC film crew has returned to Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy to film Mountain Bongo for a 3-part natural history series about Kenya. As the film rolls, we follow the crew around with our own camera and bear witness to a very special reunion. It’s 6.30 in the morning. Whilst guests at the adjacent Mount Kenya Safari Club are still sleeping, our Wildlife Officer Fundi is directing a dark green Land Cruiser across the Conservancy, many pairs of eyes on us....

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A Gift of a Very Special Kind

»Posted on Mar 6, 2009 in Blog | 1 comment

A Gift of a Very Special Kind

As the ardent Kenya lover knows, the country that straddles the equator enjoys distinct seasons influenced by the monsoon – two wet and two dry periods. During the course of the year, the monsoon’s low pressure belt moves between its northernmost point over Arabia and its southernmost point over Zambia. As it travels between these two extremes, the low pressure belt passes over Mount Kenya between Mid-March and June, then again from October to December dispensing much needed rain. In January and February, however, while the low pressure area is situated over its southern extreme, it drives predominantly north-easterly winds across Mount Kenya. Unable to carry along moist air from the Indian Ocean, it results in the lowest rainfall of the year. The...

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Overheard at the Chaircat’s Office

»Posted on Feb 27, 2009 in Blog | 0 comments

Overheard at the Chaircat’s Office

Not long ago, our much-respected Chaircat Duma Duke discovered a look-alike of one of the Animal Orphanage’s residents in a photo from faraway North America. A critter gone astray? Always a devoted reporter, he decided to investigate himself and soon the news broke – Duma Duke is traveling. …and the tittle-tattle from Mount Kenya, the voices of Africa? 7,000 miles from home, our farseeing Chaircat lent his desk to his trusted friends who ensure that the bush drums continue. Here are some interesting news that just reached us from wintry America: The critter looking so much like his African friend, the Reedbuck, introduced herself to Duma Duke as a member of the extensive Whitetail Deer Family. Back in Africa, the land of antelopes to which the...

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Change Indeed…

»Posted on Jan 15, 2009 in Blog, Bongo News | 0 comments

Change Indeed…

A great New Years gift awaited us on January first: Bongo mother ‘Baraka’ gave birth to a healthy female calf during the night. Mother Baraka (Kiswahili for BLESSING) was one of the first group of bongo calves born to the ‘native American’ mothers that were returned to Kenya. Four days into 2009 another little ‘girl ‘ bongo joined her. Her mother carries the proud name “Miss Kenya,” first born on Kenyan soil of American Heritage!! All of us here take great pride in naming the two new bongo after two other delightful young girls of true Kenyan heritage that have made world news lately: Malia and Sasha, the charming young daughters of President Barack Obama. Photos by long time Conservancy supporter Jane McKeand who...

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Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy