The Tourism minister of Kenya said that the ten black rhinos died as a result of stress and salt poisoning, the rhinos failed to adapt from their previous habitat’s fresh water to the sanctuary’s more saline water. An independent inquiry also found “clear negligence” by the conservation officers to be blamed for the rhinos deaths.
In July, the Kenya Wildlife Service relocated 11 of the endangered black rhinoceroses from Nairobi to a newly created sanctuary in Tsavo East National Park. The rhinos were moved from Nairobi and Lake Nakuru national parks to Tsavo East National Park to start a new population in the area.
This is one of Africa’s worst conservation tragedies and unfortunately everyone is pointing fingers at the park rangers. The Kenya Wildlife Services acting director was fired and six rangers were also suspended.
The last remaining rhino was attacked by lions the Kenya Wildlife Service vets were attending to the lone rhino that survived the relocation. It was seen limping due to injuries inflicted by a pride of lions. KWS was monitoring it’s condition since the attack by lions. The rhino was doing well but unfortunately died days later.
It has become necessary to relocate rhinos because of the increase of poaching across sub-Saharan Africa. Poachers are killing rhinos and elephants for their horns and tusks throughout Africa.
This week SANparks announced that 23 suspected armed Rhino poacher in the Kruger National Park have been arrested since July.
The worlds last male northern white rhino died in Kenya in March, only two females of this subspecies are alive, a 28 year old female named Najin and her 18 year old daughter Fatu, both of whom are housed at a Kenyan animal conservancy under constant armed guard.
Kenya had 20000 rhinos in 1970, that number fell to 400 in the 1990 due to poaching but in the last few years the numbers have increased to 1258, 745 of these numbers being of black rhino and 510 of southern white rhinos.
Read about the SA film about rhino poaching which won awards at US festival here.