On 28th December, 2009, poachers entered the Mugie rhino sanctuary in Laikipia, poached a ten year old female rhino and cut out its horns. The poachers then disappeared in the cover of darkness.
A major operation was mounted to follow up on the poaching case and on 3rd January 2010; a Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) security team intercepted a Toyota Prado and arrested six occupants who were in possession of two rhino horns that weighed some 7.2 Kgs. These are believed to be from the poached rhino. The vehicle was intercepted near Loruk trading centre in Baringo East District on the road to Nakuru.
A follow up raid was conducted in Luonyek at the residence of one of the suspected poachers who sold the two rhino horns to the arrested suspects. Some of the money, which totalled some 647,000 Kenyan shillings, was recovered; the poacher was arrested with four others. Efforts are still underway to arrest other suspects who escaped.
600 Black rhinos in Kenya, 300 white
The Kenya black rhino population now stands at 600 animals, while white rhinos are slightly above 300 animals. Before the rampant poaching of rhinos in the 1970s Kenya had about 20,000 black rhinos but poaching reduced the numbers to less than 300 animals by mid 1980s. The Kenyan rhino population is distributed in the sanctuaries within the national parks and reserves and in privately managed rhino sanctuaries across the country.
Mugie rhino sanctuary
Mugie rhino sanctuary which is home to 24 black rhino and 1 white rhino is one the most recent victims of the increasing spate of rhino poaching in the private sanctuaries. More....