Poacher is shot for killing rhino

A poacher has been shot dead after he was caught removing a horn from a black rhino.

Kenya Wildlife Service rangers in Laikipia on Wednesday said the poacher, was in a group of two others who had engaged them in a shoot-out.

The rangers seized an AK-47 rifle with five rounds of ammunition during the incident.

Ms Kuki Gallman, the owner of the conservancy where the incident occurred, commended the rangers but called on KWS to smash what she said was a syndicate involved in the sale of game trophies.

The unscrupulous buyers are dealing in elephant tusks and rhino horns.

Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservation area officer, Mr Baraza Otungah said the other poachers could have escaped with gunshot wounds.

Last week, four elephants were shot dead by poachers but a swift response by the conservancy’s rangers forced the poachers to flee and leave behind the tusks.

Ms Gallman said poaching was on the increase and that in the past year 38 elephants had been killed and their tusks removed.

She mourned the death of ‘Kamau’ the 25-year-old rhino, whom she described as a dominant male that had sired many rhinos in the sanctuary.

According to her, this was the second time this year that poachers had targeted rhinos at the sanctuary.

In the first attack, a rhino miraculously survived after poachers cut off its horn.

The conservancy is one of the few protected sanctuaries where black rhinos breed and roam freely. The area is suitable for the rhinos.