Rory Stewart meets pastoralist communities and last surviving Northern White Rhino in Laikipia

Rory Stewart in Kenya
Rory Stewart and Julius Court meet pastoralist communities in Laikipia. Photo: Twitter/UKinKenya

After the SUED launch in Lamu yesterday morning, UK International Development Minister Rory Stewart MP headed to Laikipia, with Department for International Development (DfID) Country Head Julius Court, to find out how UKaid is helping pastoralist communities earn more from their cattle, supporting them to access a commercial fattening service.

He also saw how UKaid is helping to alleviate the worst effects of climate change on the cattle herders of northern Kenya.

Rory Stewart explains how UKaid is helping to alleviate the worst effects of climate change on cattle herders in northern Kenya. Video: Twitter/DFID_UK

The Kenya Markets Trust thanked Mr Stewart for visiting Borana Lodge and the “opportunity to demonstrate the impact of UKaid through their work in enabling pastoral communities to access fattening and finishing services for their livestock and fetch better prices.”

At Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Mr Stewart heard from Samuel Mutisya who told him about some real successes in rhino conservation, despite the tragedy of the Northern White Rhino.

Rory Stewart learns about successes in protecting Kenya’s rhinos from conservation biologist Samuel Mutisya. Video: Twitter/DFID_UK

The British MP also got up close to one of the only two remaining members of the species which he described as a “powerful symbol of the hundreds of thousands of species that are at risk of extinction over the next 30 years.”

Rory Stewart in Laikipia
Rory Stewart with one of the last two Northern White Rhinos at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia. Photo: Twitter/RoryStewartUK

Sadly, Northern white rhinos are now functionally extinct. Even if much-hyped innovations like rhino IVF are perfected in the future, it will likely come too late to save this sub-species.

Rory Stewart with one of the only two remaining Northern White rhino. Video: Twitter/RoryStewartUK

With only two inter-related individuals remaining, all of which are too old to mate or have reproductive problems preventing them from conceiving naturally, the death of the last male Northern White Rhino Sudan, means the extinction of the species is now only a matter of time.

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