Image Credit: GNU 1.2 Ikiwaner
The critically endangered rhinos had been living in a new sanctuary in southern Kenya when the disaster occurred.
A total of fourteen black rhinos had been moved from the Nairobi and Lake Nakuru national parks to Tsavo East national park as part of an operation carried out in collaboration with WWF Kenya.
The goal was to increase the country’s overall number of black rhinos by creating new populations in suitable areas, however disaster struck when eight of the new arrivals unexpectedly wound up dead.
It is believed that the rhinos had succumbed to poisoning due to the higher salt content in the water.
Kenyan conservationist Paula Kahumbu described the incident as “a complete disaster”.
An investigation has since been launched in an effort to find out how this could have happened.
“The eight dead rhinos were among those that had been moved to the sanctuary in an initiative to start a new population in line with the National Rhino Conservation and Management Strategy,” the Kenyan Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife said in a statement.
“This kind of mortality rate is unprecedented in Kenya Wildlife Service operations.”
Source: The Guardian