Unique wildlife abounds at an orphanage in Kenya

Saturday May 12 2018

Llamas at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage. PHOTO |

Llamas at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage. PHOTO | KARI MUTU | NATION 

By KARI MUTU
More by this Author

In the central highlands of Kenya, is the Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage that rehabilitates victims of poaching and abandonment. I was taken round by Eric Mwenda, the wildlife officer, and in the aftermath of the rains the place was lush and green.

Among the first animals I saw in wire mesh enclosures were caracal cats, small slender carnivores with tan fur and tufted ears. They were found abandoned as kittens in Laikipia County in the north.

A male ostrich walked freely in the well-tended gardens, pecking maize kernels from Mwenda’s hand. A young buffalo called Nyati had been found alone in the Aberdares by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers.

Caracal at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage. PHOTO |

Caracal at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage. PHOTO | KARI MUTU | NATION

It is my first time to see bush pigs. Stocky animals with long, bristly hairs and pointed ears, they are feeding on vegetables grown in the orphanage’s garden.

The primate section is a menagerie of baboons, Sykes monkeys, colobus monkeys and rare patas monkeys with reddish-brown fur.

A mangaboon monkey called Safari is the accidental offspring of a rescued baboon that mated with a golden-bellied mangabey on transit from West Africa. This unnatural interspecies breeding means the mangaboon cannot reproduce.

The orphanage was founded by Hollywood actor William Holden, former big game hunter Don Hunt and his wife Iris. Their first animal was Mary, an abandoned elephant calf born in 1975 and the victim of poaching.

At 12 years old it was transferred to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Orphanage facility in Tsavo National Park.

Patas monkey at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage.

Patas monkey at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage. PHOTO | KARI MUTU | NATION

Open to the public

Five years ago, the orphanage was bought by a Kenyan investor and is now open to the public. At present, there are 140 animals and 29 species, some of them born here. In one corner are the birthing pens for larger animals such as the bongo antelope.

Newly arrived animals are first given a drink of warm water sometimes with glucose. Wildlife manager Donald Bunge says, “They are checked for diseases and injuries, we identify suitable housing and a quarantine area.” The earch-form clearfix">

Unique wildlife abounds at an orphanage in Kenya

Saturday May 12 2018

Llamas at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage. PHOTO |

Llamas at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage. PHOTO | KARI MUTU | NATION 

By KARI MUTU
More by this Author

In the central highlands of Kenya, is the Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage that rehabilitates victims of poaching and abandonment. I was taken round by Eric Mwenda, the wildlife officer, and in the aftermath of the rains the place was lush and green.

Among the first animals I saw in wire mesh enclosures were caracal cats, small slender carnivores with tan fur and tufted ears. They were found abandoned as kittens in Laikipia County in the north.

A male ostrich walked freely in the well-tended gardens, pecking maize kernels from Mwenda’s hand. A young buffalo called Nyati had been found alone in the Aberdares by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers.

Caracal at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage. PHOTO |

Caracal at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage. PHOTO | KARI MUTU | NATION

It is my first time to see bush pigs. Stocky animals with long, bristly hairs and pointed ears, they are feeding on vegetables grown in the orphanage’s garden.

The primate section is a menagerie of baboons, Sykes monkeys, colobus monkeys and rare patas monkeys with reddish-brown fur.

A mangaboon monkey called Safari is the accidental offspring of a rescued baboon that mated with a golden-bellied mangabey on transit from West Africa. This unnatural interspecies breeding means the mangaboon cannot reproduce.

The orphanage was founded by Hollywood actor William Holden, former big game hunter Don Hunt and his wife Iris. Their first animal was Mary, an abandoned elephant calf born in 1975 and the victim of poaching.

At 12 years old it was transferred to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Orphanage facility in Tsavo National Park.

Patas monkey at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage.

Patas monkey at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage. PHOTO | KARI MUTU | NATION

Open to the public

Five years ago, the orphanage was bought by a Kenyan investor and is now open to the public. At present, there are 140 animals and 29 species, some of them born here. In one corner are the birthing pens for larger animals such as the bongo antelope.

Newly arrived animals are first given a drink of warm water sometimes with glucose. Wildlife manager Donald Bunge says, “They are checked for diseases and injuries, we identify suitable housing and a quarantine area.” The earch-form clearfix">

Unique wildlife abounds at an orphanage in Kenya

Saturday May 12 2018

Llamas at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage. PHOTO |

Llamas at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage. PHOTO | KARI MUTU | NATION 

By KARI MUTU
More by this Author

In the central highlands of Kenya, is the Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage that rehabilitates victims of poaching and abandonment. I was taken round by Eric Mwenda, the wildlife officer, and in the aftermath of the rains the place was lush and green.

Among the first animals I saw in wire mesh enclosures were caracal cats, small slender carnivores with tan fur and tufted ears. They were found abandoned as kittens in Laikipia County in the north.

A male ostrich walked freely in the well-tended gardens, pecking maize kernels from Mwenda’s hand. A young buffalo called Nyati had been found alone in the Aberdares by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers.

Caracal at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage. PHOTO |

Caracal at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage. PHOTO | KARI MUTU | NATION

It is my first time to see bush pigs. Stocky animals with long, bristly hairs and pointed ears, they are feeding on vegetables grown in the orphanage’s garden.

The primate section is a menagerie of baboons, Sykes monkeys, colobus monkeys and rare patas monkeys with reddish-brown fur.

A mangaboon monkey called Safari is the accidental offspring of a rescued baboon that mated with a golden-bellied mangabey on transit from West Africa. This unnatural interspecies breeding means the mangaboon cannot reproduce.

The orphanage was founded by Hollywood actor William Holden, former big game hunter Don Hunt and his wife Iris. Their first animal was Mary, an abandoned elephant calf born in 1975 and the victim of poaching.

At 12 years old it was transferred to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Orphanage facility in Tsavo National Park.

Patas monkey at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage.

Patas monkey at Mt Kenya Animal Orphanage. PHOTO | KARI MUTU | NATION

Open to the public

Five years ago, the orphanage was bought by a Kenyan investor and is now open to the public. At present, there are 140 animals and 29 species, some of them born here. In one corner are the birthing pens for larger animals such as the bongo antelope.

Newly arrived animals are first given a drink of warm water sometimes with glucose. Wildlife manager Donald Bunge says, “They are checked for diseases and injuries, we identify suitable housing and a quarantine area.” The