Gunmen have shot dead a white rhino in Nairobi’s national park, a brazen raid in one of the best guarded sites in Kenya, wildlife officials said Tuesday.
Amid a surge of rhino and elephant killings across the country, the shooting of the rhino in the heavily guarded Nairobi national park – the headquarters of the government’s Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)- illustrates how easily poachers are decimating the country’s large animals.
Poachers, who killed the rhino late Friday, hacked out the horn from its head and escaped, said KWS spokesman Paul Udoto.
“It is the first such poaching incident in the park in the last six years,” Udoto said, adding it brings the total number of rhino killed this year to 35, already more than the 29 killed in Kenya in the whole of 2012.
Nairobi’s national park, which lies just seven kilometres (four miles) from the tower blocks of the bustling centre, is described by KWS as “a unique ecosystem by being the only protected area in the world close to a capital city”.