, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 3 – The Kenya Wildlife Service says its rangers are in hot pursuit of a gang of poachers who felled two black rhinos and a calf at the Meru National Park on Wednesday night.
Through its twitter handle, KWS has informed the public that they have good leads which they are optimistic will lead to the capture of the poachers.
“Our teams, both covert and overt, are in hot pursuit with good leads,” the thread of tweets reads.
The rhino carcasses were found with their horns missing after a ground and aerial search was mounted at first light.
The search was mounted in response to gun fire heard at dusk and after rangers who laid in ambush, suspecting poachers, failed to nab them.
The black rhino is a critically endangered species with the white rhino near threatened.
As of March when the beloved Sudan and the last surviving male Northern White Rhino was euthanised on suffering age-related complications, there are only two northern white rhinos left in existence.
In response to the poaching of the rhinos on Wednesday, the KWS has defended its conservation record as emotions ran high in reaction to the news.
“The poaching trend has been on a downward trend largely due to enhanced wildlife law enforcement efforts and Govt investment in conservation. These efforts led to 85% reduction in rhino poaching & 78% reduction in elephant poaching. In 2017,we lost 69 Elephants & 9 Rhinos,” the KWS tweeted.
At a Giant’s Club Summit in 2016, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment Judi Wakhungu announced that the KWS would be getting its own in-house prosecution unit.
Under President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee administration, stiffer penalties for poaching have also been introduced.