In Summary
  • The board asked the KWS management to suspend the exercise until conditions at the park improved.
  • There was neither a board nor a board sub-committee when the relocations were done.

Plans to relocate black rhinos to the Tsavo East National Park are said to have come up on at least three occasions during the tenure of the Kenya Wildlife Service’s (KWS) former board of trustees, with the earliest suggestion coming in 2015.

But the board rejected the idea for various ecological and environmental reasons, including lack of pasture due to prolonged drought in the area, and high salinity levels in the area's water.

Also, the sanctuary where the animals were supposed to stay was incomplete.

So the board asked the KWS management to suspend the exercise until conditions at the park improved, and the sanctuary was completed.

SALINITY

A team that inspected the park in December 2017 noted that the only water available was pumped from boreholes to troughs.

The vegetation had improved considerably after it rained in the area, but the water's salinity level remained unchanged.

So it was agreed that the conditions were not appropriate for the relocation.

But KWS was under pressure from donors to relocate the animals.

In February this year, the donors met with KWS to review the suitability of the conditions.

The World Wide Fund for Nature would sponsor the Sh100 million project.

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