ZAITUNI, THE ORPHANED RHINO
Zaituni is one of the success stories we love to recount of the Eastern Black Rhino. Zaituni, meaning Olive in Kiswahili has shown growth since she was first found orphaned in the Serengeti plains in late 2019. The Grumeti Fund was entrusted by the Government to help care for Zaituni, since then, our conservation team, along with our government partners TAWA and stakeholders like TAWAIRI and TANAPA, have worked tirelessly to protect and care for her.
Teams of dedicated rangers patrol the Grumeti concession around the clock. This collective achievement would not be one of success without them. The men and women who dedicate their lives caring for Zaituni and other Eastern Black Rhino are essential. One of the dedicated staff that has been with Zaituni since she arrived is Mzee Dickson (Mzee meaning elder). Mzee Dickson has been with Zaituni since she arrived for care where scientists estimated she was four to five months old.
“It is incredible what we have seen with Zaituni. She came here very small and frail. We would wrap her up in blankets and have to cuddle her to keep her warm. Now she’s thriving and full of life.” – Mzee Dickson
Zaituni loves to wallow in the mud. She now fends for her own food and has been weaned off milk. We are all very excited to see her turning into an independent rhino and hoping to free her into the wild when she’s ready.
Wildlife conservation is a joint operation. Where we have our boots on the ground, supported with other forms of security enhancement within the Ikorongo/Grumeti Reserves – it is critical to work together with our Government partners to protect the Serengeti Ecosystem.
The Grumeti Fund is committed to developing programs that support the translocation and reintroduction of a number of endangered and locally extinct wildlife species to both Grumeti and the wider Serengeti ecosystem.
Working with our partners and stakeholders, we are exploring different avenues to acquire additional rhino to accelerate the black rhino expansion program and to make a meaningful contribution to rhino conservation in the Serengeti.
To donate to the conservation of endangered Eastern black rhino click here.