Seven of 14 rhinos die after move to Kenyan national park

Lester Mason
July 15, 2018

The relocation of the rhinos involves putting the animals to sleep and then reviving them when they arrive at their new location, according to The Guardian.

Save the Rhino estimates there are fewer than 5,500 black rhinos in the world and around 750 of them are thought to be in Kenya.

Eight black rhinos died in a relocation attempt in Kenya meant to protect the species from human interference, officials announced Friday, as reported by the Associated Press.

The translocation of the animals to Tsavo East National Park, was part of an effort to do that.

The black was on the brink of extinction after a dramatic 98 percent decline in population from 20,000 in 1970 to about 350 in 1983, says WWF.

Translocation of critically endangered black rhinos from Nakuru and Nairobi National Parks to Tsavo East National Park has been suspended following the death of eight out of the 14 during the exercise. The process is known as translocation.

On Friday, World Wide Fund-Kenya, in a statement through CEO Mohamed Awer, said the transfer was risky and challenging. The surviving rhinos that were transported are now being given fresh water.

Senior Veterinary Pathologist from the University of Nairobi, Peter Gathumbi, will carry out independent investigations into the incident at the Tsavo with the report expected to be released in a week's time.

Conservationists in Africa have been working hard to protect the black rhino sub-species from poachers targeting them for their horns to supply an illegal Asian market.

According to preliminary investigations by KWS veterinary teams, the deaths resulted from salt poisoning after the animals took water high in salinity when they arrived at their new home. Economic development in Asia has fueled demand for rhino horns, which are used in some Chinese and Vietnamese medicines and displayed as a symbol of wealth.

According to KWS figures, nine rhinos were killed in Kenya a year ago.

Sudan and a group of other northern white rhinos were moved back to Africa in 2009 in the hope that the move, in particular grassland at the Ol Peteja Conservancy in eastern Kenya, would give them more favorable breeding conditions.

But the loss of so many in one go is unprecedented.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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