8 en­dan­gered rhi­nos killed in trans­port

Tampa Bay Times - - Nation & World -

Eight en­dan­gered black rhi­nos have died from de­hy­dra­tion af­ter be­ing moved be­tween Kenyan na­tional parks, the Min­istry of Tourism and Wildlife said Fri­day. The eight rhi­nos were among 11 re­cently re­lo­cated for pop­u­la­tion man­age­ment rea­sons, and the re­main­ing rhi­nos are now be­ing closely mon­i­tored for signs of ill­ness and have been given fresh wa­ter in wa­ter pans. The min­istry said in­ves­ti­ga­tions “at­tribute the deaths to salt poi­son­ing as a re­sult of tak­ing wa­ter of high salin­ity on ar­rival in the new en­vi­ron­ment.” “The high salt lev­els lead to de­hy­dra­tion that trig­gers thirst mech­a­nism, re­sult­ing in ex­cess wa­ter in­take of the saline wa­ter that fur­ther ex­ac­er­bates the prob­lem,” it said. The min­istry said dis­ci­plinary ac­tion would be taken if any wrong­do­ing or neg­li­gence is found to have oc­curred. Kenyan con­ser­va­tion­ist Paula Kahumbu, who is also the CEO of Wildlife Di­rect, called the in­ci­dent a disas­ter and blamed Kenya Wildlife Ser­vices, the govern­ment agency that car­ried out the move. There are about 5,500 black rhi­nos left in the world.

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