Sheraton Kampala Hotel General manager Chris Pollard, was last week co-opted to serve on the Rhino Fund Board, until the next general meeting of the fund can make the appointment permanent for an initial three year term of office.
The Sheraton Kampala Hotel has for the past 2 ½ decades been at the forefront of targeted conservation efforts in Uganda and been a stalwart supporter of the Rhino Fund since its inception in 1997.
Outgoing substantive Chairman Dirk Ten Brink in fact was General Manager of the hotel when the Sheraton stepped up to offer their financial support for the importation of Uganda’s first ‘rhino couple’ one of them subsequently named ‘Sherino’ (the other one was donated by Sudhir Ruparelia of the Speke Hotel Group and named Kabira) and both are now located at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe, where RFU also donated the enclosure and structures to house the two Southern White rhinos.
Since then has the Sheraton Kampala hosted RFU functions, offered the venues for board meetings and generally been a shining example of outstanding corporate conservation spirit.
Board members present warmly welcomed Chris into their ranks alongside this correspondent who currently serves as Acting Chairman until the next AGM, having been in the chair during the time the funds were raised to create the rhino sanctuary, fence it and stock it with 4 purchased rhinos from Kenya’s Solio Game Reserve and a further two donated by Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida.
The meeting also once again acknowledged the role played by Capt. Joe Roy and his family for having granted RFU an initial 30 years land use rights for their Ziwa Ranch, where in the space of just a few years the 6 adult rhinos have until now produced 7 rhino babies with two more ‘in the making’ and due for delivery later this year.
The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is now an integral part of every serious safari itinerary and besides the 13 rhinos offers sightings of the rare Shoe bill Stork, a number of other game and of late even regular leopard sightings. Bird life is prolific on the sanctuary due to an adjoining wetland and swamps on the 17.000+ acres estate, a major reason for the growing popularity of the sanctuary among tourists and locals alike.