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KWS vaccinates white rhinos as anthrax hits Nakuru park

Sunday April 7 2019

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Assistant Director

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Assistant Director Central Rift Valley Aggrey Maumo (right) and Nakuru National Park Deputy Park Warden Collins Ochieng’ address the press in Nakuru town on April 7, 2019. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Francis Mureithi
By Francis Mureithi
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Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has launched a campaign to vaccinate white rhinos at Lake Nakuru National Park following an outbreak of anthrax that has killed 10 buffaloes.

The park has 14 white rhinos and 66 black rhinos.

The last anthrax case at the park was reported in 2015 while the latest case was reported on March 29 when two carcasses of buffaloes were found by KWS rangers on patrol in the 188 square kilometer park.

KWS assistant director in charge of Central Rift Valley region Aggrey Maumo said they have launched aerial and ground surveillance at the park to find carcasses of buffaloes.

“We don’t want those endangered species to be infected and in the last three days we have been vaccinating the white rhinos,” said Mr Maumo.

The park suffers overpopulation with 5,000 buffaloes against a capacity of 1,000.

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A team of 15, among them three KWS veterinary officers and four scientists, are combing the park to deal with the disease.

“Before they started the operation they were also treated as it is a risky operation as they are directly involved in the disposal of the carcasses,” said Mr Maumo.

“So far we have managed the situation and all the carcasses that have been found have been disposed through burning.”

The official said that the current hot and dry weather has also affected the wild animals.

“Some animals have succumbed, and to mitigate the current situation we are supplying water to the animals and drilling boreholes,” said Mr Maumo.