Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has relocated 21 rare and endangered black rhinos from their sanctuaries after a rapid increase in their population caused overcrowding.
The rhinos, mostly of the eastern black rhino sub-species, are being transferred to the newly-established sanctuary at the Loisaba Conservancy in northern Kenya.
“Three rhinos will be translocated from Nairobi National Park with others coming from Ol Pejeta and Lewa conservancies,” the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said on Tuesday.
“It will be the first time Loisaba has seen rhinos since poachers killed the last of the species there 50 years ago,” the conservancy said last week.
The relocation will be from the Nairobi National Park, Ol Pejeta and Lewa conservancies.
The exercise is seen as a success in Kenya’s efforts to conserve black rhinos, which were on the brink of extinction just three decades ago.
Kenya’s black rhino population has grown from just over 200 in 1994 to just over 1,000, Tourism Minister Alfred Mutua told the BBC.
“This is very good news and it’s because of our conservation efforts,” he said.
“We’ve reversed the heavy poaching that used to be there, we’ve reversed the abuse of the areas where the animals were living so that we could properly conserve them,” Mr Mutua added.