KWS still insists 11th Rhino is not dead

A photo released by KWS claiming KWS Rangers are attending to the 11th Rhino that was attacked by Lions PHOTO COURTESY

Mombasa, KENYA: The Kenya Wildlife service has continued to downplay the reports that the 11th and last remaining Rhino from a disastrous translocation exercise is dead.

This is despite conservationists claiming that the Rhino which was undergoing treatment after it was attacked by lions had succumbed to its injuries.

On Saturday, the service announced that KWS vets were attending to the Rhino after its condition deteriorated.

“Kenya Wildlife Service vets are attending to the lone rhino that survived the botched translocation in Tsavo East. It has been seen limping this morning due to injuries inflicted by a pride of lions. KWS has been monitoring its condition since the attack by lions. The rhino was doing well until today” The service wrote.

“An update on the rhino. It has lost body condition and the wound was septic. Prognosis is guarded to poor. Our vets are on the case.” The service added.

On Monday the KWS communication boss Paul Udoto was quoted by the Daily Nation saying that the Rhino had been found dead by KWS rangers in the morning.

However, in a sudden change of words, Udoto told Baraka FM that he did not have any information regarding the state of the Rhino.

Udoto’s words came just a   day after vocal conservationist and CEO of wildlife Direct Paula Kahumbu claimed that the Rhino had died.

“Fail, The 11th rhino has died. The translocation was a Ksh 100 million shilling 100% failure” Paula Kahumbu wrote.

Second death?

However, the reports on the death of the 11th Rhino surfaced as early as Monday last week.

This was after UK charity which is accusing the service of failing to disclose full information claimed that the Rhino had succumbed to its injuries.

“We understand the 11th rhino has died following an attack by lions within Tsavo East.” The Charity stated on 30th July.

The 11th Rhino was part of 10 now dead Black Rhino’s that were translocated from the Nairobi and Lake Nakuru National parks to a newly established sanctuary at the Tsavo East National Park.

The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife has stated that the Rhinos died due to stress which was worsened by dehydration and salt poisoning.

The Death of the Rhinos saw 7 officers suspended however there have been growing calls for the Tourism and Wildlife CS Najib Balala to resign over the now halted disastrous exercise.