Nairobi, July 31 – Suspected poachers have killed a black rhino in Kenya’s Lake Nakuru National Park, bringing the rhinoceros death toll in the country in July to 11, the wildlife service confirmed on Tuesday.
The latest poaching incident comes in the wake of a public outcry over the death of 10 of the critically endangered rhinoceros that perished earlier in July after they were moved to a different national park. Kenya’s tourism minister last week said the deaths were attributable multiple stress syndrome aggravated by salt poisoning, dehydration, starvation, bacterial infection and gastric ulcers.
A senior ranger at Lake Nakuru National Park told the local media that the poaching incident happened late on Monday and that the poachers had made away with the horns of the rhino they killed.
The rhinos that died after being translocated had been moved by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) from Nairobi and Nakuru National Parks to a newly-created rhino sanctuary in Tsavo East National Park to the south of the country.
The black rhino (Diceros bicornis) is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). According to IUCN, black rhino population declined by a staggering 97.6 per cent from 1960 to the 1990s, primarily as a result of poaching.
In 1993, there were estimated to be just 2,300 black rhino living in the wild, but thanks to conservation efforts across Kenya and southern Africa, populations have risen to over 5,000 currently.