Kenya implanting microchip in rhinos to combat poaching

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Nairobi, Feb 23 (IANS) The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on Tuesday began implanting microchips in every black rhino in the world’s famous Masai Mara Games Reserve, to fight against poaching.

The Kenya Rhino Microchip Programme runs along with the ear-notching and tracking of unmarked or younger rhinos of endangered black rhino around the park, Xinhua news agency reported.

Martin Mulama, WWF Kenya Rhino Programme coordinator, said the exercise involves fixing a microchip in the rhino’s horns and notching their ears as one way of protecting them from poachers.

“The black rhino is an endangered species in Africa due to increased cases of poaching, and the current exercise will help security officers to easily monitor and track these animals,” he said during the launch of the exercise.

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Mulama said $70,000 was allocated towards the unique ten-day exercise that would help enhance monitoring of the animals around the park and also improve their security.

He added that the conservation group and other stakeholders would later conduct an audit of all the rhinos in the reserve.

The animals are part of the big five that draw tourists, a major source of revenue for the east African nation. The other four are the lion, elephant, leopard and buffalo.

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