Tragedy as RARE black rhinos die during BOTCHED relocation operation in Kenya

Tragedy as RARE black rhinos die during BOTCHED relocation operation in Kenya

Tragedy as RARE black rhinos die during BOTCHED relocation operation in Kenya

Kenya transported 149 rhinos between 2005 and 2017 with eight deaths, the wildlife ministry said.

The relocation of the rhinos involves putting the animals to sleep and then reviving them when they arrive at their new location, according to The Guardian.

The animals were among 14 black rhinos being transported from Nairobi National Park to the country's biggest national park, Tsavo East.

They died after drinking water with high concentrations of salt, the Kenyan government says.

Officials must take responsibility for the deaths and explain what went wrong during the relocation, conservationist Paula Kahumbu said, according to The Guardian.

The termed the incident as unfortunate affirming that disciplinary action will be taken, if the findings point towards negligence or unprofessional misconduct on the part of any KWS officers.

"It appears that about a year ago there were only ten to 15 black rhinos surviving in Tsavo East National Park, so that is part of the national black rhino strategy. We have to find out what's gone wrong, so that these mistakes are never repeated".

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The death toll while moving from the capital to a national park hundreds of kilometres away has been labelled "unprecedented" by the government. "Rhino translocations also have major welfare considerations and I dread to think of the suffering that these poor animals endured before they died".

In May, six black rhinos were moved from South Africa to Chad, restoring the species to the country in north-central Africa almost half a century after it was wiped out there.

Efforts to save the black rhino from extinction have suffered a "catastrophic setback" after eight of them died in Kenya during a botched operation to move them to a more secure home. The World Wildlife Fund, who partnered with the Kenya Wildlife Service to facilitate the move, acknowledged that translocation, or the managed movement of live animals from one habitat to another, poses extreme risk to species, particularly of the rhino's size, since the 3,000-pound mammal must be tranquilized to make the cross-country journey in the back of a truck. Three rhinos were killed in a protected Kenyan sanctuary in May.

According to KWS figures, nine rhinos were killed in Kenya past year.

The decline was caused by escalating illegal poaching for illegal markets in the Middle East and Asia.

One nonprofit, African Parks, has shipped several endangered species across the continent, including black rhinos, which it has flown from South Africa to Rwanda and Chad.

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