Nairobi,KENYA:Tourism cabinet secretary Najib Balala, has today launched a three week translocation exercise of 14 black rhinos from Nairobi and Lake Nakuru National Parks to Tsavo East National Park Rhino sanctuary as a way of securing them from poachers.
Eight are said to be black rhinos from Nairobi National Park and six from Lake Nakuru National Park.
The exercise that is to be carried out by Kenya Wildlife Services in partnership with Wild wide fund for nature-Kenya (WWF-K) is aiming to create more space for the animal breeding and security.
Speaking to journalist on Tuesday during the launch of the exercise, Balala alluded that, the exercise is a key milestone in the conservation of black rhinos that are listed as critically endangered after their numbers declined by 90 percent over the last three decades as a result of poaching.
“The current national population of black rhinos stands at 745 as at end of 2017. The new Rhinos Conservation Strategy (2017-2021) aims to achieve at least 5 percent per annum growth rate and attain a population of 830 by 2021,” Said the Cs.
He added that in the last year, there were new birth of 109 rhinos due to minimal killings by the poachers, thanks to the continued support and effort shown by WWFK as they were seeking to preserve the heritage.
Speaking in the same launch, KWS CEO Mohammed Awer said they are taking the black rhinos to a place that is more secure from poaching and there security is enhanced
This comes amid speculation that a hundred acres of Nairobi national park and 40 acres of Oloolua Forest will be chopped off for construction of Phase 2A of the standard gauge railways.
This is after the national land commission put out an intention to acquire land on behalf of the Kenya Railways that will unlock the construction that had stalled for months over court injunctions and land ownership disputes.
Construction of phase 2A of the standard Gauge Railway is reported to have started through the Nairobi National park despite court orders halting it.
As a political and environmental compromise, the railway will now be raised on 114 concrete pillars as it crosses the park and will not touch the ground.
The lowest pillars will be seven metres high and the highest will be over 40 metres so Kenya wildlife service believes that animals will still enjoy free movements.