Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has suspended six Kenya Wildlife Service officers over the death of 10 black rhinos at Tsavo East Park sanctuary.
Mr Balala on Thursday said the officials were responsible for the care of the rhinos that died after being translocated from Nairobi and Lake Nakuru national parks.
He also demoted Director-General Julius Kimani, replacing him with Dr Charles Musyoki in an acting capacity.
Dr Musyoki had been the Principal of KWS Training Institute.
“According to the inquiry team, the cause of all the deaths was due to multiple stress syndrome intensified by salt poisoning and complicated by the following conditions: dehydration, starvation, proliferation of opportunistic bacteria in upper respiratory tract, gastric ulcers and gastritis,” he said.
The 11th rhino is in critical condition and could also die after being attacked by lions.
The rhinos were also found to have wounds on the legs, neck and lower jaws.
The capture and translocation of 11 of the 14 intended rhinos began on June 26, with the first batch of three (two females and one male) captured at Nairobi National Park being moved successfully to Tsavo and held in Bomas for acclimatization.