Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in Narok County is investigating an incident where three black Rhinos were found dead in the Mara Triangle within the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
Narok County Commissioner, George Natembeya confirmed the incident saying the rhinos were found dead in separate incidences in a span of three months and KWS veterinary officers are carrying out test on the carcasses in a bid to establish the cause of death.
“Three rhinos have been reported dead in a span of three months, the first one to die was 37 years old, while another three year old and a pregnant one followed, we are still investigating to unveil the truth,” Natembeya said.
Nevertheless, the county security chief ruled out possibilities of poaching as the carcasses were intact, suspecting that the animals could have consumed poisonous herbs.
He said the security of the rhinos at the Mara was tight and that it was impossible for any intruder to access them to poison them.
“Rhinos are protected species. We have the police and county rangers guarding them 24 hours a day,” said Natembeya.
Contacted for Comment, KWS Head of Communications, Paul Udoto confirmed the incident saying one old male aged 37 years could have died a natural death but the other two were alarming.
“One of the rhinos was 16 years old and expectant and the other three years old, it is such a big loss to the country,” lamented Udoto.
“Our Vets have taken the samples from the carcasses to the government chemists and we are waiting for the feedback,” he said.
According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, at the end of 2017, Kenya had a rhino population of 1,258, including 745 black rhinos. The population has increased steadily since the 1980s, when Kenya was home to fewer than 400 of the animals.
In July this year, the country suffered a major loss after ten rhinos that were being transferred from Nakuru to Tsavo East National Park died on arrival.
A committee formed to investigate the matter reported that highly saline water, dehydration, starvation and bacterial attack were responsible for the deaths.
By Ann Salaton