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Two Rhinos poached as probe conducted into other cases.

Date Published: 20 Mar, 2012
Two Rhinos poached as probe conducted into other cases.

Two rhinos have been poached in two separate incidents over the last one week as investigations are conducted to determine circumstances of two others. The first rhino killing occurred about a week ago in Lewa Conservancy in Isiolo County. The week-old carcass of a pregnant white rhino was discovered  on  Wednesday, April 11, 2012  with its horn missing. Lewa Conservancy rangers together with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and police are investigating the incident.

The second case occurred in Solio Ranch in Laikipia County on Tuesday night  April 10, 2012  where a black rhino was killed and the horn taken as well.  A joint KWS and General Service Unit (GSU) security team moved in when gunshots were heard to determine the circumstances of the shooting.  A short while later, they stumbled on a fresh carcass of a known male rhino aged 12 years without its horn. The team immediately embarked on tracking the poachers and discovered that the poachers had cut the electric fences at two points, one for entry into the rhino sanctuary and the other for exit. Two spent cartridges from a 303 rifle were recovered at the killing scene. A follow up operation is ongoing.  Security in the sanctuaries has been beefed up, especially at this time of moonlight when most poaching occurs.  A further two carcasses of rhinos believed to have died six months ago were found in a swampy part of Lake Nakuru National Park. KWS teams are cross-checking with rhino databases to determine whether these are old cases that had been reported earlier or are totally new findings.  An update on the findings will be communicated in due course.

Elsewhere within the same last week, 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.   The rest of the suspects were found with various illegal wildlife trophies and an assortment of poaching gear.   The trophies included four ostrich eggs, crocodile meat, bushbuck meat, one piece of elephant tusk, hippo meat and warthog skin.  In Kihuri forest of Mt Kenya, three suspects were arrested on Friday  April 6, 2012  in possession of a power saw, panga, 14 pieces of cypress and booked at Othaya Police Station.


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