Friday, May 31, 2013

KWS hunts for poachers as three more rhinos killed

A file picture taken on December 9, 2010 shows the carcass of a Rhino shot dead by poachers. Photo\FILE

A file picture taken on December 9, 2010 shows the carcass of a Rhino shot dead by poachers. Photo\FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By PETER MWAI [email protected]

The Kenya Wildlife Service has launched an operation to arrest poachers who killed three rhinos at a private ranch in Naivasha on Friday morning.

The number of rhinos killed in Kenya in the last two weeks has now risen to seven.

“Armed poachers infiltrated Oserian private sanctuary and killed the rhinos but Kenya Wildlife Service rangers on night patrol reacted swiftly and deterred them from taking away the rhino horns which they were in the process of removing,” a statement from KWS said.

The attack that led to the killing of two adult rhinos and a calf took place at 2 am.

KWS is urging the public to volunteer information to help security officials curb the poaching menace.

On Monday, the agency announced the launch of a “major operation” to pursue poachers who had killed four rhinos in a span of one week across the country. (READ: KWS in countrywide hunt for poachers)

The rhinos were killed in Lake Nakuru National Park, Solio Ranch (Nyeri), Ngulia Sanctuary (Tsavo West National Park), and Meru National Park. The poachers took off with the rhino horns.

“Security teams are following crucial leads and expect to catch up with the perpetrators of the heinous crime,” KWS said.

Since the beginning of the year, Kenya has lost 24 rhinos and 117 elephants to poachers. Out of these elephants, 37 were killed in protected areas while 80 were outside protected areas.

Last year, Kenya lost 384 elephants and 30 rhinos to poachers, a trend the agency described as worrying and unsustainable.

advertisement