Wildlife Service -- Kenya Wildlife
Service and the Embassy of Ireland have symbolically ‘greened’
Kenyan iconic rhinos " Kyela and Lankeu" to draw attention to
The colourful occasion presided
over by Ireland ambassador to Kenya, Dr Vincent O’Neill also
marked the beginning of the campaign #GreenRhinos as part of
global St Patrick’s celebrations.
Dr O’Neill said the "greening" of rhinos this year was to
celebrate Ireland’s presence and influence abroad, recognize the
fact that rhinos are a "fantastic icon of Kenyan life and
heritage" endangered through poaching and that Kenya was
responding effectively to the problem.
Dr O’Neill said: "In highlighting this, we want to commend
Kenya for the huge progress it has made in addressing this
global problem," adding:
"Because of these efforts, the number of rhinos killed by
poachers in Kenya has greatly reduced over the years."
KWS Director General Kitili Mbathi expressed Kenya’s concern
over new moves to legalize trade in domestic markets for rhino
horn in South Africa, especially proposed partial lifting of the
ban in the export of rhino horn by allowing foreigners to export
two rhino horns for "personal purposes".
Mr Mbathi said: "We shudder to think of the potential
increase in poaching we could be faced with if the South African
proposals are approved," adding that the move would "create the
sort of increased demand we saw when trade in ivory was
temporarily relaxed for a few south African countries in
St. Patrick’s Day is Ireland’s National Day and is celebrated
on the 17th of March every year.
To mark this day, and recognizing that Green is the national
colour of Ireland, Tourism Ireland’s 8th Annual Global Greening
initiative will see some of the world’s most famous attractions
and sites going Green.
Dr O’Neill said: "Through the #GreenRhinos initiative, we are
showing our support for the hugely important efforts being made
in Kenya to stop the illegal slaughter of these wonderful
animals so they can thrive for many generations to come."
The Kenyan #GreenRhinos joined Colosseum in Rome, the Statue
of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro and Ground Zero in New
York in becoming "green" to coincide with the global celebration
of St Patrick’s Day.
This year, the global ‘Greening’ will span mainland Europe,
Great Britain, North America as well as Australia, South Africa,
Kenya and United Arab Emirates among others.