A rhino is coaxed into a cage in the Addo Elephant Park, near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Thursday May 3, 2018, to be transported to Zakouma National Park in Chad. File photo. (AP Photo/Michael Sheehan)

7 endangered rhinos dead in Kenya relocation bid: Official

Seven critically endangered black rhinos are dead after an attempt to move them and restore the species to the country in north-central Africa.

A Kenyan wildlife official says seven critically endangered black rhinos are dead following an attempt to move them from the capital to a national park hundreds of kilometres away.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, cited “negligence” in the deaths.

Prominent Kenyan conservationist Paula Kahumbu of WildlifeDirect calls the loss of the rhinos “a complete disaster.”

Related: World’s last male northern white rhino dies

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In moving the rhinos to Tsavo East National Park last month, the Kenya Wildlife Service said it hoped to boost the population there.

The organization, which has conducted numerous successful moves in the past, has not said how the rhinos died.

Conservationists in Africa have been working hard to protect the black rhino from poachers targeting the animal for its horn.

Khaled Kazziha, The Associated Press

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