(Xinhua) -- The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) on Thursday
displayed 18 horns of nine black rhinos who died last week after a
failed relocation from Nairobi and Nakuru National Parks to Tsavo
Najib Balala, the cabinet secretary
for tourism and wildlife, had earlier authorized the
parading of the horns implanted with micro-chips as a
gesture of transparency amid concerns over the sudden
death of the iconic mammals.
“There is a protocol of transporting
ivory from one station to another and I have directed
Kenya Wildlife Service to display them for verification
by the media and members of the public,” said Balala.
“Fortunately, all the horns have
electronic chips and transmitters and it is possible to
verify whether they belong to the rhinos that died,” he
The death of nine black rhinos at a
sanctuary in the expansive Tsavo East National Park
caused consternation in the local and global wildlife
So far, only two out of the 11 rhinos
that were translocated to the wildlife sanctuary have
survived while a multi-agency team has been formed to
establish the cause of their sudden demise.
Scientists from KWS had earlier
intimated that the rhinos died as a result of severe
dehydration after they consumed borehole water that was
Balala ordered a halt on translocation
of rhinos that was being undertaken by KWS in
partnership with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) until
the cause of the deaths was resolved.
Linus Kariuki, coordinator of rhino
program at the KWS, said the use of micro-chips to
monitor the movement of giant land mammals like rhinos
has boosted their protection amid threat of poaching.
“By implanting a micro-chip on the
rhino horns, it is possible to track their movement and
obtain critical details like gender and age,” Kariuki
Kenya’s rhino population that is
currently estimated at 1,200 is facing threats linked to
poaching, shrinking habitat and climatic shocks.