Seven black rhinos die in Kenya in botched relocation

Eight critically endangered black rhinos died following an attempt to move them from Kenya's capital Nairobi to a national park hundreds of kilometers away

Seven black rhinos die in Kenya in botched relocation

Save the Rhinos estimates there are fewer than 5,500 black rhinos in the world, all of them in Africa, while Kenya's black rhino population stands at 750, according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature.

In May, three black rhinos were killed in Kenya's Meru National Park.

She said: "It's a disaster - a disaster not just for Kenya, but for the world".

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.

Kenya is home to the remaining 80 percent of these animals' world population.

Translocation of critically endangered black rhinos from Nakuru and Nairobi National Parks to Tsavo East National Park has been suspended following the death of eight out of the 14 during the exercise.

During translocation, animals are sedated for the journey, before being woken at their destination.

"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", Balala said. Both the travel and adjustment to a new environment make translocation a delicate process.

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It's unclear how the rhinos died, the official told Kenya's Capital FM News.

Senior Veterinary Pathologist from the University of Nairobi, Peter Gathumbi, will carry out independent investigations into the incident at the Tsavo with the report expected to be released in a week's time.

Rhinos are often moved when their populations outgrow their surroundings.

"Translocating wild animals of this size is extremely challenging and not without risk, but black rhinos are under enormous threat so efforts to try and better protect them, such as translocations, are crucial for future generations", Awer said. Three were shot dead inside a protected sanctuary in northern Kenya in May.

According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, nine rhinos were killed in Kenya previous year.

NPR's Eyder Peralta reported on the death of the last male northern white rhino on the planet, named Sudan, in March.

But the loss of so many in one go is unprecedented.

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