The latest arrival at the Animal Orphanage run by the Nairobi National Park in Kenya, is Kioko, a baby Black Rhinoceros.
The latest arrival at the Animal Orphanage run by the Nairobi National Park in Kenya, is Kioko, a baby Black Rhinoceros. He was only two or three days old when he was found alone in the Amboseli National Park by the park's warden. Mr. Kioko, after whom he was named.
Nobody is really sure how little Kioko became separated from his mother, but she was probably killed by poachers. If predators, such as lions or hy?nas, had been responsible for separating mother and child, the baby would most likely have been eaten.
Although poaching in Kenya's national parks and reserves has been reduced in recent years by anti-poaching patrols, rhinoceros still fell prey to the criminals with guns who kill them for the sake of the valuable horns which are valued for their supposed aphrodisiac qualities in the Far East.
Little Kioko was lucky that he was found so soon, for otherwise he would not have survived more than a few hours. Mr. Kioko fed him for a couple of days, before asking the Nairobi National Park Orphanage to take him under their care. The Orphanage has the proper facilities and experienced staff to tackle the tricky task of roaring very young animals.
At night Kioko sleeps in a smooth concrete enclosure, filled with soft straw. To keep him warm and to substitute for the natural warmth of his mother, there is an infra-red lamp in the enclosure which is kept on all night. For company he has Jumapili, a young Grant's Gazelle, who is also an orphan.
Kioko only weighs seventy pounds, but when he is fully grown he will weigh about two tons. Before then, in about two years time, he will be released in his home park, Amboseli, to learn to fend for himself. The Curator of the Nairobi National Park Orphanage, Mr. Sam Ng'ethe, is confident he will survive to adulthood.