Emergency appeal to help save a snared rare black rhino in Kenya
A shocking image of a critically endangered black rhino with a snare around its neck has been picked up on one of our cameras in Africa.
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The image has triggered an urgent search for the rhino in the Chyulu Hills region of Kenya, leading us to launch an emergency appeal for help.
The rhino – a known important breeding bull – was the target of a botched poaching attempt and experts believe it will not survive unless they can reach him soon to remove the snare and treat him.
Around 40 rangers from the Kenyan Wildlife Service and conservation organisations the Big Life Foundation and the Maasailand Preservation Trust, who all work with Chester Zoo to protect the region’s highly threatened black rhinos, have been deployed on the ground.
However, with the terrain being of thick and dangerous bush, so far their efforts have been in vain.
Our Head of Field Programmes and Conservation, Roger Wilkinson, said:
“We’ve launched an emergency appeal as we desperately need to send funds to the teams who are frantically searching for this precious rhino, to give them every chance of tracking him down before it’s too late.
“Search teams on the ground have been trekking tirelessly through the thick bush and by following his tracks they have come close to finding him on a couple of occasions.
“However, given the almost impossible terrain, it’s by air that we’re going to have the best hope of finding him. To keep a helicopter in the sky costs $9,000 a day and so that’s why we need help. It’s expensive but if we can reach him it will be well worth every single penny”
The number of black rhinos in Africa is plummeting as a result of a dramatic surge in illegal poaching. A global increase in demand for rhino horn to supply the traditional Asian medicine market, where it is wrongly believed to be a cure for everything from nightmares to dysentery, has intensified the situation in recent times.
This attrition is being driven by the astonishing street value for rhino horn, which fetches £40,000 a kilo - more than gold.
Find out more on our Act for Wildlife blog, or donate now and help save a rhino at risk in the wild. 100% of donations to Act for Wildlife go to our conservation projects around the world.