KWS halts black rhino relocation after three dead
28 May 2015, 12:17
Nairobi - Kenya wildlife agency on Wednesday suspended the translocation of critically endangered black rhinos as three dead after moving to new habitat for just one week.
"Postmortem by our veterinary team revealed the two rhino's succumbed to complications arising from impaction in the lower gut. The third one succumbed to anesthetic complications during capture and efforts to resuscitate it did not bear fruit," Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said.
Altogether 14 black rhinos have been moved from Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (LWC) and Lake Nakuru National Park to Sera Conservancy of eastern Kenya's Samburu county by Sunday, according to the KWS.
This was the first time for a local community to be responsible for the protection and management of the highly threatened species and conservationists had hoped that the presence of black rhino in Sera Conservancy will be a significant boost to tourism in the area.
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The wildlife agency said six rhinos from Nairobi National Park had been held back and a team of veterinarians has been put on standby to undertake clinical monitoring of the remaining 11 translocated rhinos.
Massive poaching had lead to a sharp decrease to the black rhino population, no more than 3,000 reported in 1993. The number rose to nearly 5,000 in current days, thanks to conservation and anti-poaching efforts.
In Kenya, the population has increased from 381 since 1987 to a current estimate of 640 and is projected to rise in the near future.
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