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Endangered species

Many of Kenya’s major predators and herbivores have become endangered over the past few decades, because of the continuous destruction of their natural habitat and merciless poaching for ivory, skins, horn and bush meat.

The black rhino is probably Kenya’s most endangered large mammal. It’s commonly poached for its horn and, faced with relentless poaching by heavily armed gangs in the 1980s, the wild rhino population plummeted from 20,000 in 1969 to just 539 today. Rhino Ark (020-609866; www.rhinoark.org) raises funds to create rhino sanctuaries and donations are always appreciated.

While the elephant is not technically endangered, it is still often the target of poachers. A number of elephants are killed every year, especially in the area around Tsavo East National Park. Current elephant numbers are estimated at 35,000.