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Black rhino in holding box
A female black rhino stands in a box before being transported © REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Sourced from third-party site: Ministry of tourism – Kenya

A tenth endangered black rhino has reportedly died after a botched translocation from one Kenyan reserve to another. We previously reported the death of eight rhinos, and later added a ninth death to this post.

The eleventh rhino is in critical condition and could also die after being attacked by lions.

The rhinos were being translocated from Nairobi and Nakuru National Parks to the newly-created sanctuary in the southeast of the country to offer a more secure location for the endangered species. Preliminary investigations showed that salt poisoning from the water may have been cause of death.

“According to the inquiry team, the cause of all the deaths was due to multiple stress syndrome intensified by salt poisoning and complicated by the following conditions: dehydration, starvation, proliferation of opportunistic bacteria in upper respiratory tract, gastric ulcers and gastritis,” said Kenya’s Wildlife and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala.

Kenya's Wildlife and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala at press briefing
Kenya’s Wildlife and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala speaking at the press briefing on Thursday © Ministry of Tourism – Kenya

Balala said that six of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officials involved in the deadly operation had been suspended due to negligence.

“The independent inquiry further showed there were areas of clear negligence that occurred post translocation at the release site in Tsavo, especially in the holding boma at the sanctuary. These included poor co-ordination and communication among officers that were responsible for pre-translocation studies, including biomass assessments; environmental impact assessments and water quality assessments. The investigators found unacceptable professional negligence among the officers, who are forthwith suspended pending further disciplinary action to be taken as appropriate by the Board of KWS.”

This latest update was provided by Kenya’s Wildlife and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala on Thursday.

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