Kenya Wildlife Service said it suspended a two-week campaign to relocate critically endangered black rhinos to counter a wave in poaching after three of the animals died during the process.
Two rhinos moved from the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to the Seva Community Conservancy died after developing an abdomen condition, the Nairobi-based agency said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday. The other animal was killed as a result of anesthesia complications before leaving Lewa. Eleven other rhinos that were translocated during the exercise are being closely monitored, according to the agency.
Poachers killed 53 rhinos for their horns last year compared with 59 in 2013 and 30 in the previous two years, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service. The East African nation’s total black rhino population stands at about 620.