STORY HIGHLIGHTS


New Measures to protect black rhinos

CNC
Added On February 25, 2016

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and WWF-Kenya have embarked on a major exercise of tracking and ear-notching the endangered black rhinos around Maasai Mara national reserve.
 
The exercise involves fixing a microchip in the rhino's horns and notching their ears as one way of protecting them from poachers.
 
The animals are in great danger of elimination due to the high demand for the trophies.
 
According to Martin Mulama, WWF-Kenya Rhino programme coordinator, 70,000 US dollars had been allocated to protect the rare animals.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH):MARTIN MULAMA, WWF-Kenya Rhino programme coordinator
For transmitters we fit on the horn so as to help the rangers doing the tracking to do monitoring for security reasons so that they can be knowing where the animals are and in the event that somebody has taken the horn off we can still try track using the transmitters. For ear notchings we do specific patterns for each animal. Each animal has an ID which is number based, so we have patterns number one to 99.
 
Mulama added that the agency and other stakeholders would later conduct a review of all the rhinos in the Mara.
 
KWS senior veterinary officer Isaac Lekolool, who led the exercise said that the transmitters would help reduce chances of poachers targeting the animals.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH):ISAAC LEKOLOOL, KWS senior veterinary officer
Basically using the identification mark that are in the ears, the devices they are basically used to track we will be in a position to track the movement and the location of every rhino that has a micro chip.
 
Poaching across sub-Saharan Africa is on the rise as armed criminal gangs kill the animal for horns.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH):MARTIN MULAMA  WWF Kenya Rhino programme coordinator
There's this myth that Rhino horn has medicinal value.  People should understand that there's no additional value they can get from consuming rhino horns.
 
There are estimated to be roughly 20,700 southern white rhino and 5,055 black rhino in Africa, including their subspecies.