The Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Dr. Alfred Mutua, has today morning spearheaded the official launch of the translocation of 21 black rhinos. The project, spanning Nairobi National Park, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, aims to establish a founder population at Loisaba Wildlife Conservancy.
“Today marks a significant moment in our conservation journey as we officially launch the translocation of 21 black rhinos, a crucial step towards ensuring the survival and growth of this majestic species,” CS Mutua said.
Mutua expressed his delight at the momentous occasion, emphasizing the importance of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act.
“This initiative is a testament to our commitment to the recovery and preservation of rare and endangered species. The translocation aligns with Section 49 of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2023, highlighting our dedication to these majestic creatures,” added Mutua.
CS Mutua also revealed that the black rhino population had crossed the 1,000 mark by the end of 2023, a remarkable achievement since the dark days of trophy poaching.
“From a population of just 384 individuals in the late 1980s, we have now surpassed 1,000 black rhinos, making Kenya the third-ranking country globally. This is a testament to our collective efforts and commitment to wildlife conservation,” he said.
Highlighting Kenya’s global conservation role, CS Mutua discussed the country’s involvement in the Northern White Rhino recovery efforts and the BioRescue project.
“Kenya stands at the forefront of global conservation. Through the BioRescue project, we are actively contributing to the recovery of the Northern White Rhino, with 29 embryos developed and awaiting implantation. This is our commitment to biodiversity on a global scale,” said Mutua.
Acknowledging the persistent threat of poaching, Mutua issued a call to action, emphasizing the need for continued efforts to secure rhino populations.
“While we celebrate our successes, we must remain vigilant. Poaching is dynamic, and we face a resurgence in other parts of the world. The Government of Kenya is committed to providing the necessary resources, legal, and policy frameworks to enhance rhino conservation,” said Mutua.
Also present during the function was, the Principal Secretary State Department for Wildlife, Ms. Silvia Museiya; the Principal Secretary State Department for Tourism, John Ololtuaa; Chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service Board of Trustees, LT. Gen. (RTD.) Walter Raria Koipaton, Director General Kenya Wildlife Service, Dr. Erustus Kanga, among others.