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Poaching menace resurfaces at Lake Nakuru National park as male black rhino is killed

By Caroline Chebet | Published Wed, August 1st 2018 at 00:00, Updated July 31st 2018 at 23:09 GMT +3
12-year-old male black rhino killed by poachers at Lake Nakuru National Park on July 31, 2018. The poachers made away with two horns. [KWS]

A 12-year-old black rhino has been killed at Lake Nakuru National Park by poachers.

According to the park’s senior warden, Catherine Wambani, the poachers took away its horns.

She said security agents were hunting the suspects.

The killing of the rhino comes in the wake of the death of 10 others after they were translocated to Tsavo National Park.

Three of the rhinos had been transferred from Nakuru National Park, which is said to have 65 black rhinos and 13 southern white rhinos, according to a census conducted at the park in 2016.

Ms Wambani termed the killing of the rhino a blow, noting that the park had not had any incidents of poaching in the past two years.

Highest record

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In 2012, 30 rhinos were killed countrywide, with the number almost doubling the following year. In 2014, the numbers dropped to 14, but Nakuru still had the highest record of six poaching incidents.

Journalists were yesterday barred from the scene of the rhino shooting as the Nakuru County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha, police boss Hassan Barua and the KWS team walked out.

In an earlier interview, the KWS head of corporate communications, Paul Gathitu, told The Standard that the country had made remarkable steps in prosecuting wildlife crimes.

Since 2016, prosecution of wildlife crimes have increased by 69 per cent.

The black rhino population in Kenya plummeted from over 20,000 in 1970 to only 350 in 1983.

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