Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Tourism Najib Balala, left, listens to South African wildlife veterinary David Zimmerman during a press conference on an investigation on the deaths of several black rhinos, in Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday, July 26, 2018. At least 8 black rhinos died in July after they were relocated by KWS (Kenya Wildlife Services) to Tsavo East national park from Nairobi and Nakuru national parks for repopulation purposes. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

10th endangered rhino dies in Kenya after botched transfer

July 26, 2018 - 8:28 am

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyan wildlife authorities say a tenth critically endangered black rhino has died after being moved from the capital to a new wildlife park.

The country's wildlife minister, Najib Balala, says the one surviving rhino has been injured after being attacked by lions in what some conservationists have called a national disaster.

The Kenya Wildlife Service's acting director has been fired and several other officials have been suspended after "clear negligence" was found in the rhinos' transfer to Tsavo East National Park Rhino Sanctuary.

Balala said preliminary investigations show the rhinos died from stress intensified by salt poisoning as the animals struggled to adjust to saltier water in their new home.

Transporting wildlife is a conservation strategy used to help build up animal populations.

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