Cyclists compete to raise funds for rhino conservation
29 September 2014, 12:05
Nakuru - At least 183 cyclists from across the world attended the International Cycle with Rhino competition Saturday at Nakuru County to create awareness on rhino conservation and raise funds for rehabilitation of electric fence at a rhino sanctuary.
The annual competition, the 10th of its kind, was held at the county's Lake Nakuru National Park, some 160 kilometers northwest of the country's capital, Nairobi.
The cyclists aimed to creating awareness on rhino protection and raising 34,482 U.S. dollars for rehabilitating a 24 km stretch of electric fence surrounding the rhino sanctuary in the park, according to Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) acting director William Kiprono, which he said required collaboration from all the stakeholders to raise adequate fund to complete the targeted perimeter.
Kiprono said KWS is exploiting all means possible to protect the wildlife at the park, including undertaking continuous sensitization of surrounding communities on their role in controlling poaching.
The government agency charged with responsibility of safeguarding wildlife in the developing nation has already delegated one of the country's top comedians Eric Omondi as the Lake Nakuru National Park Rhino ambassador, who will be spearheading campaigns for protecting the rare species.
A park action committee with representatives from all stakeholders is also in place to oversee developments made towards maintaining the country's national heritage.
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Lake Nakuru National Park is two of the only wildlife heritage facilities in the country under the premium category. The category represents the highest classification of parks in the East African state.
The park is one of the most visited in the country, providing a rare adventure of the white and black rhino. On normal occasions the park receives between 800 to 1,500 visitors a day.
The park is used as a breeding ground for rhino in the East African state. Covering an area of 188 square kilometer, it was established as a rhino sanctuary in 1984, and solar powered electric fenced constructed around it two years later by Rhino Rescue Trust.