Last month we were honored with the visit of popular Columbus Zoo Director and TV Personality Jack Hanna and Julie Scardina of Bush Gardens / Sea World.
Jack, a regular visitor to the Ranch, met with Don Hunt to discuss the Bongo Repatriation program.
While here he was able to “meet” our resident herd of rare Mountain Bongo, and filmed them for his popular TV show to help the good cause. Thanks to American Zoos and the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation, United Nations and the Mount Kenya Game Ranch, 20 of the American born descendents of the rare Mountain Bongo are flying back to Kenya soon to be re-rehabilitated to form the nucleus of a herd to be re-introduced on the Mountain here.
Watch “Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures” in the New Year for a story on the Bongo project.
The animals at the Orphanage play an important part in making friends and new wildlife enthusiasts of our visiting School groups every week.
Last October Iris met the children from the “Winners Academy” – A primary School from Meru, a farming community some 40 miles to the north of us. There were 75 students aged 10 to 11 and their 4 Teachers.
As they arrived Iris welcomed them and asked them what they wanted to be when they grow up. The answers were interesting: there were 15 Pilots, 12 Astronauts, 9 Doctors 8 Surgeons, 4 Lawyers, 6 Accountants, 4 Farmers, 2 Dentists, 2 Politicians, 4 Teachers and even one Miss Kenya amongst those that knew.
Michael Nganga, one of our education officers then took them around the Ranch and the Orphanage. For most of them it was the first time they had seen a wild animal. At night they met around a campfire to talk about what it meant to conserve wildlife and the environment, at our Education Center.
The last day when Iris went to see them off on their trip home she asked them again what they wanted to be. This time around we still had lots of Pilots and Astronauts but we also had 15 Game Wardens 6 Veterinarians and 12 animal keepers.
“Winners Academy” indeed! With young enthusiasts like these the future looks good!!
Our Very Special Thank You Goes To:
Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and The Columbus Zoological Park Association for their very generous Donation for the purchase of much needed VHF Radios for our game scouts who will be protecting the Bongo and doing anti-poaching patrols.
Denis Murphy, for his continuous support, Encouragement and the wonderful paintings published on this page.
Jane McKeand for sharing her exquisite recipe.