- Delivering Truth Around the World
Custom Search

Government tries to save rhinos, but kills 81%


Smaller Font Larger Font RSS 2.0



A report from All Africa reveals the extent of disaster from a recent attempt to protect the rare black rhinoceros breed: Nine of 11 rhinos relocated are dead.

It’s likely they were killed by the salt water they were given to drink after their move to Tsavo National Park in Kenya.

It has been described as the biggest-ever rhino translocation mishap. And experts from South Africa and the United Kingdom were invited to study what caused the problem.

“Preliminary investigations point to salt poisoning as the rhinos tried to adapt to saltier water in their new home. The investigations team is being headed by senior officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, local and international experts. A comprehensive report to be concluded within a week,” explained Najib Balal, Kenya’s tourism and wildlife minister, in the report.

Eight animals died almost immediately on their move, and the ninth shortly later.

A report in the EastAfrican said the agency was told: “Things did not go according to the script. The wildlife agency had taken all the necessary precautions including their quality of water and also housing them in a holding pen as they transitioned to their new ecosystem. Something went wrong and given the effects of the stress of moving, the animals felt thirsty and took saline water that was being pumped from a borehole.”

Conservationists were alarmed.

Cathy Dean of Save the Rhino said in the report: “Finding new places for rhinos to thrive and protecting viable populations are crucial, and we understand the Kenyan Wildlife Service’s desire to re-establish rhinos in Tsavo East. Now that we are faced with this truly tragic situation, we must learn from it. We call on the Kenya Wildlife Service to examine what happened and why things went so wrong. Then steps must be taken to ensure that this never happens again.”

Such moves are endorsed by Save the Rhino because “moving rhinos from one place to another is essential to ensure genetic diversity across the population and to re-establish populations in areas where they had previously been poached to near extinction.”

Officials said Kenya’s goal is to have 2,000 black rhinos.

And the report pointed out that of the 149 rhino moves in the last decade or so, there have been only eight deaths, until now.

“We look forward to the outcome of the investigation and reassurances that we will adopt global best practice in translocating wildlife to learn from this disaster and prevent it from ever happening again,” said Paula Kahumb of Wild Life Direct in the report.


Article printed from WND:

URL to article: