Massive manhunt for poachers who killed rhino in Nakuru

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) security teams are pursuing suspected poachers following the killing of a male black rhino in Lake Nakuru National Tuesday.

The team has been reinforced by the County security team, including the police. The National Intelligence Service and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) are also assisting KWS in tracking the suspected poachers.

The KWS Canine Unit was deployed at the scene but lost track on the outside of the fence line in the settled area.

Nakuru County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha says wardens at the park discovered the carcass of the Rhino 20 minutes after they heard gunshots at the Southern area of the lake that are largely inhabited by browsers and Rhinos .

The press was not allowed to access the scene of crime as investigating agencies were said to be conducting their investigations.

No arrests have been made so far.

He said this is the first incident to be reported this year saying the security committee in the area will scale up police patrol around the wildlife facility in a bid to ward off poachers and a recurrence of a similar incident in future.

In the meantime, two rangers who were on duty have been interdicted pending investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) into their culpability.

A post-mortem examination has been conducted on the 12-year-old male rhino to determine to exact cause of the death.The latest incident follows the death of 11 black rhinos at Tsavo East Park sanctuary leading to a public outcry which has put Tourism CS Najib Balala under pressure to resign.

The rhinos died few days after being translocated from the Nairobi and Nakuru national parks, to Tsavo East National Park due to the overcrowding in the two parks, which officials say was hindering breeding.

Postmortem examination reports said that the animals died of salt poisoning after drinking highly saline water in their new surroundings and infections.

Following the deaths, Tourism CS Najib Balala suspended six senior officers in charge of the relocation and demoted acting KWS Director-General Julius Kimani.

While appearing before the National Assembly’s Environment Tuesday, Balala regretted his “to go to hell”outburst during Monday’s press conference.

He said he that the outburst was directed at a section of social media users who he claims have launched a plot to assassinate his character following the death of the rhinos.

He regretted the deaths and blamed the failure of his ministry’s systems to act quickly to avert the deaths.

  

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