Eight endangered black rhinos die
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.