Rhinoceros conservation sanctuary in Kenya solves 250 big problems
Tuesday 21 November 2006
Elephants that overran a rhinoceros sanctuary in Kenya and devoured most of the food have been safely relocated to a new area.
The Ngulia fenced sanctuary in Tsavo West National Park was set up for rhino after a 1980s poaching crisis threatened to wipe them out. The reserve has been a resounding conservation success and more than 50 rhino still live there. However, the sanctuary’s rich food supply also attracted the attentions of elephants, with a total of 250 moving themselves in over the years and gradually devastating the vegetation.
After a scientific assessment, the rhino and veterinary team at the Kenya Wildlife Service caught and translocated all of the elephants safely. This team has been supported over 15 years by veterinarians and conservationists at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) most recently under the Darwin Initiative. Within two days the elephants had reformed their family groups and were enjoying life in their new stomping ground.
ZSL’s Deserts and Rangelands Conservation Programme Manager Dr Richard Kock said: “The success of this translocation and the fact the team involved was trained by ZSL is a credit to our and the UK’s commitment to wildlife conservation in Kenya.”