8 endangered black rhinos die in Kenya after relocation

14 Juillet, 2018, 02:53 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • A female black Rhino stands in a box before being transported during rhino translocation exercise In the Nairobi National Park Kenya

A wildlife officer aboard a helicopter tries to shoot a black rhino with a tranquilizer dart during a rhino translocation exercise in Nairobi National Park last month.

Nine rhinos were killed in Kenya a year ago, according to KWS, and in March, the world's last surviving male northern white rhino died after months of poor health.

It was hoped moving rhinos to the newly created Tsavo East National Park from Nairobi would boost the population there, AP reported.

The three surviving rhinos are being closely monitored by veterinary and park management teams, officials said.

They died after drinking water with high concentrations of salt, the Kenyan government says.

Officials must take responsibility for the deaths and explain what went wrong during the relocation, conservationist Paula Kahumbu said, according to The Guardian.

The organization, which has conducted numerous successful moves in the past, has not said how the rhinos died.

According to Cathy Dean, chief executive of Save the Rhino, the relocation of endangered animals, a process called translocation, can help prevent their extinction.

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"Something must have gone wrong, and we want to know what it is", she added. One nonprofit, African Parks, has shipped several endangered species across the continent, including black rhinos, which it has flown from South Africa to Rwanda and Chad.

The rhinos were among 14 KWS began moving last month from the capital Nairobi to Tsavo East.

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.

Kenya transported 149 rhinos between 2005 and 2017 with eight deaths, the wildlife ministry said. Three rhinos were killed in a protected Kenyan sanctuary in May.

Dean said there were once thousands of black rhinos in Kenya but now their population is in the hundreds.

Black rhinos are considered critically endangered but its population has rebounded, although the species remains threatened due to poaching and habitat loss.

In another major setback for conservation, the last remaining male northern white rhino on the planet died in March in Kenya, leaving conservationists struggling to save that sub-species using in vitro fertilization.

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