Monday, August 24, 2009

Obama Mania

Obama Mania

Democrat or republican.  Fan of the currently proposed health care reforms or not, you would be heartless if you did not find Obama adorable.

Baby Obama was born 24th June 2009 at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola District in Uganda.  He is the fist Rhino to be born in Uganda since the last freely roaming indigenous Rhino was seen here in 1982.  Unfortunately, there was a period when they were all sold off or killed.  The Rhino Fund Uganda came to be in 1997 with the aim to re-establish a rhino population in Uganda.  The first two rhinos arrive in Uganda came in 2001, but are housed at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center in Entebbe; they were brought in for educational purposes and to raise awareness of the cause.  It was not until 2005 that the sanctuary in Nakasongola was ready and 4 rhinos from Kenya (including Taleo, Obama's father) were brought in. 

Like Barack, baby rhino Obama is also the product of a Kenyan father rhino and a mother rhino from America.  She was donated to Ziwa by Disney's Animal Kingdom.  

I'm supposing this is the reason he was named so...  Or maybe the powers that be just like the ring of it.

Part of my package tour with the Red Chilli included a visit to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola on the third day of the trip.  I must say this was the highlight of the trip, and a visit to the rhinos should not be missed by anyone travelling in the area.  They are majestic creatures, and I am so happy that an effort is being made to re-introduce them to the National Parks in Uganda.

It was amazing to spend time up close and personal with the rhinos (by the way, little Obama and his mother are taking private time right now, so they are a bit M.I.A. these days--out of sight=no angry mother charging).  

Yes, these are wild animals, but they have become habituated to human visitors.  Being delusional (as I mentioned in my previous post), I like to imagine that I'm a risk taker, braving danger and certain death... and how did I not notice that a huge piece of grass was in my face when this photo was being shot?  Delusions aside, the risk of a rhino charge is not a non-issue.  These are instructions given to us in our visitor's guide:

I loved the idea of climbing a tree to escape a charging rhino...  Man, I'm so brave.

This was a lovely visit that I'll have to repeat.  I'm already planning to make a return in the next couple of months with my students.  I really expect them to enjoy it. 

Additional tidbits:

We passed over 52 consecutive speed humps on the highway, had a bit of a break, then passed over 67 more consecutively.  There would've been more, but (fortunately) they are beginning to be removed.

Speaking of namesakes...


Dave2 said...

Yes! Animal Kingdom! Just like I commented yesterday! :-)

Timothy said...

Exactly! I knew you'd get a kick out of the Disney Animal Kingdom connection today. I've never been there, but I'll have to check it out. Then I'll let you know if the experiences are similar.


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