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Athletes meet wildlife at ‘Cycle with Rhino’ launch

Date Published: 06 Sep, 2012
Athletes meet wildlife at ‘Cycle with Rhino’ launch

KWS Director, Julius Kipng'etich hands over a symbolic torch to two-time marathon world record holder, Amb. Dr. Tecla Loroupe during the Cycle With The Rhino Event Launch 2012 at the KWS headquarters', Nairobi.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) director Julius Kipngetich has on Wednesday (September 5, 2012) launched the eighth edition of ‘Cycle with the Rhino’ in Nairobi.

The event was graced by Tegla Loroupe, a three time world half-marathon champion and global spokeswoman for peace, women's rights and education among other sports personalities.

The event is scheduled for September 15, 2012 at Lake Nakuru National Park.

‘Cycle with the Rhino’ is an annual fund-raising initiative by KWS whose main aim is to rehabilitate the 74km electric fence, key in providing, a successful Rhino breeding sanctuary, protecting internationally renowned bird’s watcher’s paradise famous for its 1.5 million flamingos, and to undertake community conservation education around Lake Nakuru National Park. 30km of the fencing has been completed.

The initiative is being steered by KWS and Lake Nakuru Park Action Committee that brings together hoteliers, investors and local communities around the park. Sponsors for this year’s event include Safaricom, Nakummatt, Kenya Tourist Board, Lake Nakuru Lodge among others.

While presiding over the launch, KWS director reiterated the organization commitment to securing wildlife and their habitats in the country. He observed that environmental conservation is at the heart of national development.

“We cannot realise development in the country if we do not address wanton destruction of the environment and wildlife poaching,” said Kipngetich.

Tegla Loroupe who is also a two time world marathon record holder, amongst several other national and international titles, took swipe at poachers who she said are antagonising wildlife.

“Revenue generated from wildlife tourism benefits all of us. Why are poachers killing our livelihood? It is the responsibility of all Kenyans to protect wildlife for posterity. Peace with wildlife must be secured now,” said Lorupe

Funds generated during the event are also used to carry out various community projects around the park.

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