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Poachers kill three rhinos in Meru park

Thursday May 3 2018

black rhino

A black rhino. Seven have died in unclear circumstances at the Tsavo East National Park. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

KENNEDY KIMANTHI
By KENNEDY KIMANTHI
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Wildlife conservation suffered a blow after three rhinos were killed and their horns cut off in the Meru National Park on Wednesday.

The Kenya Wildlife Service said two black rhinos and a calf were killed in the park’s rhino sanctuary at 6.30pm.

Rangers efforts to lay an ambush for the poachers were unsuccessful, the service said.

“Gun shots were heard and ambushes laid at strategic points till morning, which did not yield results.

“A thorough search, both aerial and ground was conducted on first light where the carcasses of the two adult rhinos and a calf were found with the horns missing. No sign of the gang was reported, but our teams, both covert and overt, are in hot pursuit with good leads,” KWS said on its official twitter page on Thursday.

It further reported that poaching has been on a downward trend largely due to enhanced wildlife law enforcement efforts and the government’s investment in conservation.

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These efforts led to 85 per cent reduction in rhino poaching and 78 per cent reduction in elephant poaching.

“In 2017, we lost 69 elephants and nine Rhinos. Kenya continues to enjoy leadership in wildlife conservation as indicated by increase in wildlife populations, where elephants stand at over 34,000 individuals-the fourth largest in the world and rhino population stands at over 1,000 individuals - the third largest in the world,” KWS said. 

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