The Ruparelia foundation, under the Ruparelia group, has congratulated the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) popularly known as Entebbe Zoo upon making it 70 years in existence.
The Foundation which also sponsors a lion cub called Arie [named after Dr Sudhir Ruparelia’s granddaughter and daughter to Ms Sheena Ruparelia], has also pledged to continue using all the resources in its reach to market Uganda and make it a top global tourist destination.
Dr James Musinguzi the UWEC Executive Director says the facility has transformed over the years adding that the celebrations are crucial as this will help the public appreciate and recognize where they have come from and where they are going.
“We urge more partners to join UWEC in conserving wildlife through sponsoring animals, generous contributions and coming to visit the facility,” Dr Musinguzi said.
“This is a great milestone for us as a country, we need to preach the gospel of conservation by diversity and I encourage us to teach the children about this at a tender age,” he added.
According to Dr Musinguzi, UWEC will December 2, 2022, be crowned with a dinner gala at Munyonyo Commonwealth resort.
We thank our partner @RupareliaGroup for the dedicated support over the years. Did you know the oldest female Rhino 🦏 in Uganda is called Kabira, named after @KabiraCountry? They funded her conservation translocation to UWEC in 2001 from Kenya. She was aged 2. #UWEC70 pic.twitter.com/RSYoi1zk3H
— UWEC (@UWEC_EntebbeZoo) November 26, 2022
It should be noted that through his Ruparelia Group of Hotels, Sudhir has for decades played a crucial role in providing accommodation for thousands of tourists who come to Uganda every year.
In 2018, Sudhir offered to become a lifetime guardian for a chimpanzee at the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Lake Victoria. The then Tourism Minister Frank Kamuntu said Ruparelia’s offer to be a lifetime guardian for the chimp demonstrated his attachment to tourism and conservation in the country.
Besides that, in 2020, tycoon Sudhir, who adopted a baby chimp, donated Shs 10m towards feeding chimpanzees at Ngamba Sanctuary during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The donation was received by Joshua Rukundo, the Executive Director of Ngamba Island, who lauded the businessman for the generous contribution.
He said the donation was meant to cater to the wild animals facing a tough time due to the COVID-19 lockdown and rising water levels.
In February 2021, Dr Sudhir and his family enjoyed their Janan Luwum Day at Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC), popularly known as Entebbe Zoo, where he reunited with Kabira the Rhino after 20 years.
On their visit, Dr Sudhir and family checked out Kabira, now aged 24 years, which is Uganda’s oldest male rhino named after Kabira Country Club, a property owned by the business magnate.
It should also be recalled that in 2001 Sudhir sponsored the translocation of the then three-year-old rhino from Solio Ranch in Kenya to the Entebbe Zoo.
In September 2022, the government of Uganda through the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities recognised Businessman Sudhir Ruparelia for his efforts in promoting Uganda’s tourism sector.
Presiding over the event as the Chief Guest, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa hailed the businessman as one of the investors who hold Uganda at heart.
“In a special way, I congratulate Dr Sudhir Ruparelia, Chairman Speke Group of hotels for your Passion and Leadership in Hospitality and Tourism Development,” Tayebwa said.
“I know people who have been calling Dr Sudhir to go and develop their Countries, I know many, some of them were asking me, but this Sudhir man what did you give him as Uganda? The man has a lot of money and we would like him to come and invest in our areas,” he added.