Saving black rhinos

Rescuing Kenya's beleaguered black rhinos is Perez Olindo's most immediate crisis. Their number has dropped from 20,000 in 1970 to barely 500 today, says Kenya's recently appointed director of national parks and game reserves. The National Rhino Plan envisions establishment of several rhino sanctuaries, better antipoaching efforts, and relocation of rhinos. More than 100 endangered rhinos wil be moved from outlying areas to sanctuaries - Nakuru, Tsavo, Aberdares, Meru, and Nairobi national parks and several private ranches. Conservation groups helped the government fence Nakuru, a park already famous as home to millions of flamingos. The first 15 rhinos were released there in May.

Conservation education is also a major concern. ``We must do more to allow the people of Kenya to see and value their parks and wildlife heritage,'' Olindo says. He recognizes that without a broad local constituency, conservation will continue to face a precarious future.

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