By Rohit Kachroo
First came the sound of gunshots late at night.
Then, a few hours later, a carcass was found -- his bloodied face and mutilated body shielded by the long grass.
Before long, the stench of death was rising from what was now a crime scene.
The rangers at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy seemed almost unmoved. But they have seen it, heard it and smelled it too many times before.
Once again, this 60,000-acre park -- home to one in eight of Kenya’s rhinos -- has been struck by an armed gang.
Despite the helicopters, the dog handlers, the electric fencing and the hiring of a former British Army captain as chief executive, Lewa has struggled with the poachers, losing six rhinos over a four-week period earlier this year.
It is a problem for parks across Africa, where some populations of rhino and elephant face extinction within decades. Gruesome killings, like the slaughter of a family of 12 elephants in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park last January, have caused shock but brought no solutions.
At least Lewa has a powerful supporter. This is where Prince William spent much of his gap year. It is where he proposed to Kate Middleton in 2010. And it is here that he found another love: the precious species that are under threat from the trade in ivory and rhino horn.
On Tuesday, William will challenge African "producer" countries and Asian "consumer" countries to end the slaughter. But what is the chance of a real solution? More....