NAKURU, Kenya, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) on Tuesday confirmed the death of another black rhino at the Lake Nakuru National Park.
KWS said the 12-year-old male rhino was killed on Monday night by suspected poachers who also escaped with two horns at Lake Nakuru National Park.
"Sad to report the killing of a 12-year-old male black rhino in Lake Nakuru National Park last (Monday) evening. Pursuit for poachers is underway," said KWS Corporate Communication Manager Paul Udoto.
Catherine Wambani, KWS Senior Park Warden at the Lake Nakuru National Park, said the warders found the dead rhino with its horns missing.
The latest death comes amid increased criticism the ministry has been facing in the past week following the death of 11 black rhinos during the translocation exercise.
A total of 12 rhinos were translocated from the Nairobi and Nakuru National Parks to Tsavo East National Park in a new rhino sanctuary in an exercise launched on June 26.
The sanctuary in the expansive park was a joint effort between KWS and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The ministry of tourism and wildlife has suspended four senior KWS officials following the death of the rhinos.
According to KWS, Kenya had at the end of 2017 rhino population of 1,258, having grown from fewer than 400 rhinos in the 1980s.
Unrestrained poaching in the 1970s and 1980s occasioned a substantial deterioration in the rhino population, from more than 20,000 to approximately 300 individuals in 1989.
The surviving rhinos are being corralled into fortified sanctuaries with the aim of enhancing breeding.