Zero rhinos poached in Kenya in the last year – Better policing is one of the keys

2020 was a remarkable year for rhino conservation in Kenya, with not a single rhino lost its horn or life in the past year – an achievement unmatched since 1999.

Travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic were just one of the factors that contributed to this. Other measures include the fight against poverty in nearby rural areas and increased police efforts to seize rhinoceros horns that have been trafficked in recent years.

In a statement, retired Brigadier General John Waweru of the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) said: “For the first time in 21 years, in 2020 KWS did not report any poaching of rhinos. The last time this feat was accomplished was in 1999. ”

Rhinos are not the only animal to benefit from stricter surveillance and containment measures. Elephants with their ivory tusks experienced a wonderful respite in 2020.

Poaching of the two species peaked in 2012 and 2013, but since then elephant deaths have fallen by 97% to a national record of 11 in 2020 – the lowest in KWS ‘history.

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South Africa, which contains 80% of all African rhinos on earth, also reported good news for the great species this week.

Vaughn Wright

The Ministry of the Environment reported a 33% decrease in rhinos poached in the world-famous Kruger National Park last year.

2020 was the sixth straight year of rhino poaching incidents – and since 2017 they have decreased by 60%. ‘

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