NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 7 – A new Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Board of Trustees has been inaugurated even as the last surviving black rhino translocated to the Tsavo East National Park died on Monday.
In a statement, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala stated that the board will assist in reorganizing and restructuring KWS to make it more effective and efficient.
He pointed out that it is expected to offer researched advice on the various complex matters it is confronted with, as it goes about implementing the country’s national agenda on wildlife conservation.
“KWS, as an institution, requires men and women who will steer it to the next level through their well-reasoned and researched advice on the various complex matters it is confronted with, as it goes about implementation the country’s national agenda on wildlife conservation,” he said.
The inauguration comes as the deaths of the 11 rhinos exposed negligence of proportional magnitude on the part of KWS with a probe pointing to professional negligence.
He mentioned that all board members had been appointed on merit due to their professional achievements, as well as integrity and know-how about the wildlife conservation sector in this country and beyond.
He stated that these appointments were done in strict conformity to the legal requirements, as provided for by the Wildlife Conservation & Management Act 2013.
The last surviving black rhino of the eleven translocated to the Tsavo East National Park in June died on Monday.
The animal’s condition worsened Saturday with Kenya Wildlife Service veterinary officers swinging into action to treat wounds inflicted on it late last month when a pride of rhinos attacked it.
The death has exposed negligence on the part of the wildlife service with a probe into the 10 previous deaths released on July 26 pointing professional negligence.
A probe team reported that the rhinos had suffered acute dehydration after taking saline water leading to their deaths.
The inquest also reported “starvation, proliferation of opportunistic bacteria in the upper respiratory tract, gastric ulcers and gastritis” as triggers of the deaths.