KWS relocates 21 rhinos to new sanctuary


(Posted 09th September 2013)

Last week did KWS complete the move of 21 eastern black rhinos to the newly established Borana Rhino Sanctuary in Laikipia. 10 of the prized animals were taken from the Nakuru National Park while a further 11 came from the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, both of which are thought to have come up the their carrying capacity for this species of rhinos. The move was financed by World Wide Fund for Nature, in short WWF, The US Fish and Wildlife Department and the Zurich Zoo.

The new sanctuary hopes to establish a wider geographical spread of the eastern black rhinos, also allowing for ‘surplus animals’ to be moved there, now that the infrastructure exists, from other conservancies, sanctuaries and parks, where the numbers may have grown too large to sustain the populations. Kenya has since the 1980’s relied on fenced sanctuaries for rhinos to ensure their protection and worked together with such privately owned conservancies like Ol Pejeta, Solio and Lewa Downs, and the establishment of new areas dedicated to conservation of crucially endangered wildlife like the Borana sanctuary is a pointer that the concept has worked well.

The WWF in charge of the exercise Mr. Robert Ndetei confirmed WWF’s participation and continued support for wildlife management organizations in the Eastern African region.

Only a week earlier was a senior staff of WWF also visiting Uganda’s Rhino Sanctuary at Ziwa after having meetings with UWA and the Ugandan Ministry for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities. Ziwa has over the years shown sustained success in their breeding programme with an almost unprecedented rate of reproduction by their adult females and has for some time now eyed the option of being considered for a regional relocation of the eastern black species to Ziwa where a carrying capacity of over 60 rhinos, both eastern black and southern white, has been established.

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