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September 25, 2018

Darting rhinos may still be necessary

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) personnel on board a helicopter try to tranquillise a female black rhino before transporting it as part of a rhino translocation exercise In the Nairobi National Park, Kenya/FILE.
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) personnel on board a helicopter try to tranquillise a female black rhino before transporting it as part of a rhino translocation exercise In the Nairobi National Park, Kenya/FILE.

The Kenya Wildlife Service has suspended all darting of rhinos following the death of nine black rhinos in Tsavo East national park earlier this month ( see P12).

The rhinos had just been translocated to a new sanctuary in Tsavo East from Nakuru and Nairobi national parks but died shortly afterwards.

The most likely explanation is that the water from their specially drilled borehole was too salty. It poisoned them and they died from dehydration.

The rhinos had been in the sanctuary for a week by the time they died. In other words, they died a week after they had been darted, immobilised and transported to Tsavo.

It is highly unlikely that darting was the cause of death. Yet darting is vitally important if a rhino escapes or is in danger. Darting is also important for research purposes and is ongoing in various conservancies around the country as well as in the national parks.

Tourism minister Najib Balala should have just stopped all translocation of rhinos rather than suspending darting.

 

Quote of the day: "Books have led some to learning and others to madness."

Petrarch

The Italian poet died on July 19, 1374

 

 

 

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