Heri Ya Kuzliwa Mpendwa**

(c) Harry Benson, 1976

Please click here to read the press release regarding this amazing rewilding program.

Easter is a time of rebirth, when the world awakens to new hope and faith that all will be as it should. How fitting is it, then, that William Holden’s birthday is today, especially when you consider the joyful news from Kenya earlier this year.

In March, an exciting announcement came from the Kenya Forest Service and the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy – five mountain bongos were released into the Mawingu Mountain Bongo Sanctuary, the culmination of a nearly twenty year breeding and rewilding program that began when 18 were sent to Kenya from 14 zoos in the United States. Every six months an additional five bongos will be released to the sanctuary and the hope is that by 2050 there will 750 of them living in the wild, a far cry from the 96 that do so today.

The Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy began life in the 1950’s as the Mount Kenya Game Ranch. Founded by William Holden and his close friend and business partner, Don Hunt, the ranch began breeding and relocation programs as a way to protect some of Kenya’s most vulnerable wildlife. Mr. Holden knew, however, that repopulating the species that were on the verge of extinction (primarily due to human predation) was only half the battle. He dreamed of starting a center that could teach the next generation how to care for the earth and all of God’s creatures, but sadly he was taken from us tragically in 1981, before his dream became a reality. Stefanie Powers took up his mantle and in 1984, amidst the heartache of his loss, she created the William Holden Wildlife Foundation education center. Since its opening nearly 40 years ago, thousands of children have passed through its doors to learn how to be faithful stewards of the earth. Easter is a time when we stand together with renewed faith, hope and love in our hearts., so it is fitting to celebrate the life of a man whose vision reached far beyond his life and touched countless hearts around the world. May we be worthy of Mr. Holden’s legacy at Easter and always.

** Swahili for Happy Birthday Beloved