Eight en­dan­gered black rhi­nos die

Irish Examiner - - World News - Khaled Kazzia

Eight crit­i­cally en­dan­gered black rhi­nos have died in Kenya fol­low­ing an at­tempt to move them from the cap­i­tal to a na­tional park hun­dreds of miles away, The Kenyan gov­ern­ment called the death toll “un­prece­dented” in more than a decade of such trans­fers.

Pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tions point to salt poi­son­ing as the rhi­nos tried to adapt to saltier water in their new home, the Min­istry of Tourism and Wildlife said.

It sus­pended the on­go­ing move of other rhi­nos and said the sur­viv­ing ones are be­ing closely mon­i­tored.

Prom­i­nent Kenyan con- ser­va­tion­ist Paula Kahumbu of WildlifeDirect said los­ing the rhi­nos is “a com­plete dis­as­ter”.

Con­ser­va­tion­ists in Africa have been work­ing hard to pro­tect the black rhino sub­species from poach­ers tar­get­ing them for their horns to sup­ply an il­le­gal Asian mar­ket. In mov­ing a group of 11 rhi­nos to the newly-cre­ated Tsavo East Na­tional Park from Nairobi last month, the Kenya Wildlife Ser­vice said it hoped to boost the pop­u­la­tion there.

“Dis­ci­plinary ac­tion will def­i­nitely be taken” if an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the deaths in­di­cates neg­li­gence by agency staff, the wildlife min­istry said.

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