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WorldKenya's rhino population rises 11% amid zero poaching in 2020

Kenya’s rhino population rises 11% amid zero poaching in 2020

Published: 31st Jul 2021 4:15 pm

Nairobi: An international wildlife organisation said that there was an 11 per cent increase in rhino numbers in Kenya from 1,441 in 2019 to 1,605 in 2020 amid no poaching last year.

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In a statement, James Isiche, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) regional director for East Africa, a continuous decline in rhino poaching incidents was seen in the last eight years, which is a testament to the measures put in place to safeguard the animals, reports Xinhua news agency

Isiche said the Covid-19 pandemic elicited fears of an increase in wildlife poaching. However, he said measures put in place by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and partners like IFAW ensured the safety of these prehistoric animals highly sought after for their horns.

“We congratulate all wildlife security partners and agencies for this major achievement in fighting wildlife crime and keeping Kenya’s rhinos safe. We are glad that the rhino population in Kenya has increased and for the first time in a long time had no rhinos die due to poaching,” Isiche said in the statement.

He said IFAW is glad to have a long-standing partnership with KWS and lauded the staff who put their lives in harm’s way just to ensure that Kenya’s wildlife heritage is preserved.

In 2015, KWS put in place a forensic laboratory with a genetic database of rhino and elephant DNA as well as a monitoring system to help obtain critical data, which enables scientists to track endangered species and, if needed, link them to suspected poachers.

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