“Disaster” as bid to save endangered rhinos leaves 7 dead

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A female black rhinoceros, one of three individuals about to the relocated, stands in a transport crate in Nairobi National Park, June 26, 2018. Kenya Wildlife Services proceeded to relocate some rhinos on June 26, 2018 from Nairobi National Park to Tsavo-East National Park in an effort to repopulate habitat around the country where rhinoceros populations had been decimated by poaching and harsh climatic changes.

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NAIROBI, Kenya — A Kenyan wildlife official said Friday that seven critically endangered black rhinos were dead following an attempt to move them from the capital to a national park hundreds of miles away. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, cited “negligence” in the deaths.

Prominent Kenyan conservationist Paula Kahumbu of WildlifeDirect called the loss of the rhinos “a complete disaster.”

In moving the rhinos to Tsavo East National Park last month, the Kenya Wildlife Service said it hoped to boost the population there.

The organization, which has conducted numerous successful moves in the past, has not said how the rhinos died.

Conservationists in Africa have been working hard to protect the black rhino from poachers targeting the animal for its horn. According to the Reuters news agency, about 745 of Kenya’s overall rhino population of 1,258 were black rhinos in 2017. 

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