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The last of the 11 black rhinos translocated to a newly established sanctuary at the Tsavo National Park in Kenya has died. It is believed to have died from injuries after it was attacked by a lion about a fortnight ago.

Kenya Wildlife Services proceeded to relocate some rhinoceroses on June 26, 2018 from Nairobi National Park to Tsavo-East National Park in an effort to repopulate habitat around the country which rhinoceros’ population had been decimated by poaching and harsh climatic changes. Photo credit: Getty Images

The other 10 rhinos died in quick succession just days after being moved because of what investigations say was intake of salty water and starvation.

Under normal circumstances, an adult rhino should be able to defend itself from a lion, but in this case the rhino was already weak after drinking salty water.


Found Dead

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) communications boss, Paul Udoto, said the rhino was found dead in the morning of Monday, August 6, 2018, and that is was hard to tell exactly when it died.

A report released by Wildlife and Tourism CS Najib Balala a week ago concluded that the rhinos were neglected at a sanctuary. He suspended six KWS officers he said were responsible for taking care of them.


Assess Water Quality

He also demoted Mr Julius Kimani, the director-general, and replaced him with Dr Charles Musyoki, who was the Principal of the KWS Training Institute, in an acting capacity with immediate effect.

He said KWS had failed to assess the water quality before moving the animals.

With the 11 translocated animals now dead, it is not clear what will happen now, since the plan was to move 14 from the Nakuru and Nairobi national parks to the Tsavo sanctuary.

By Pauline Kairu, Daily Nation

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