The Star (Nairobi)

12 April 2012

Kenya: Alarming Cases of Rhino Poaching in Lewa, Nakuru

Photo: International Rhino Foundation
The number of rhinos that are being poached has increased.

Four rhinos have been poached and dehorned in three different incidents in the past week.

Two white rhino carcasses were found dehorned in the Lake Nakuru National Park. According to the KWS senior warden John Wambua, the rhinos were nine months and were found in the swampy part of the park. He said the wet weather had impeded regular patrols. "You cannot reach everywhere in a forest," he said. The age of the carcasses contradicts information given by the Kenya Wildlife Services who said the animals were killed six months ago.

In yet another incident, two rhinos were poached - one at Lewa Conservancy and another on Solio Ranch- on the same night. The Lewa Downs conservancy rhino named Matterhorn was dehorned, and her calf is currently being treated for bullet wounds. A black rhino was killed on Tuesday night at the Solio Ranch in Laikipia County. A joint KWS and GSU security team moved in when gunshots were heard and a short while later, they stumbled on a fresh carcass of a known male rhino aged 12 years without its horn.

Sources said two KWS rangers were arrested in Nanyuki town when they attempted to sell the rhino horn for Sh800,000. According to a statement by the KWS, a total of 21 suspected poachers were arrested in different parts of the country for various wildlife crimes. Two of the suspects were arrested with two firearms and nine rounds of ammunition at Ngilai forest in Samburu East and the rest were found with various wildlife trophies including four ostrich eggs, crocodile, bushbuck and hippo meat, an elephant tusk and a warthog skin.

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