Last year marks the first year since 1999 that zero rhinos were poached in Kenya.
GREAT NEWS!— Hamza Mohamed (@Hamza_Africa) February 4, 2021
Kenya Wildlife Service says no rhinos were killed by poachers in the country in 2020 – the first time in more than 20 years.
Via BBC pic.twitter.com/4tOyHGERIO
Travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic was just one of the contributing factors. Other interventions include tackling poverty in nearby rural areas and increasing policing efforts to seize rhino horns being trafficked in the last few years, report the Good News Network.
Another way Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) is fighting poaching is by implanting microchips in the rhinos. According to CGTN Africa, as of the beginning of February, the KWS has begun implanting microchips in every black rhino in the country’s Tsavo East National Park in southeastern Kenya. It is part of their Black Rhino Recovery Action Plan. The microchips will serve to strengthen rhino monitoring, anti-poaching activities and also support anti-trafficking mechanisms nationally.
The ambitious plan to microchip every right now in Kenya was brought forth back in 2013. The plan what supported by the World Wildlife Fund, which donated the chips and five scanners at a cost of $15,300. That’s some, however, was thought to be a fraction of the amount it will cost to track and dart each rhino in order to fit the devices, reports BBC back in October 2013.
Elephants in the area are also benefiting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the new policies.
“Rhinos aren’t the only animal benefiting from more stringent policing and lockdown measures. Elephants with their ivory tusks have experienced a marvelous reprieve in 2020,” said KWS Director retired-Brigadier General John Waweru.