Do you want to see black rhino?” asks Julius Kipng’etich, the director of the Kenya Wildlife Service. Past another few bushes, large black backsides come into view as some of the world’s rarest animals graze alongside zebras and buffalo.
Though small (only 44 square miles), and directly next door to the city, Nairobi National Park has the distinction, Kipng’etich is proud to point out, of being home to the largest rhino population in any African park.
Four years ago, when the 43 yearold took over the job, Kenya’s rhino population appeared to be in terminal decline, preyed upon by poachers supplying north Yemen with dagger sheaths and the Chinese with aphrodisiacs. Tourists, half of them from Britain, were still pouring into the country to see the “Big Five” animals – lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo and rhinos – but wildlife was declining rapidly.
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