Friday, January 29, 2010

Transferred Northern White Rhinos are Dehorned

The four Northern White Rhinos recently transferred to Kenya from the Czech Republic have been dehorned, primarily to limit their value to poachers. Radio-transmitters have been attached to the horn stumps to assist in tracking the animals as they move further afield in their new enclosure. The Times of South Africa has the news.
"With the increase of poaching in Kenya, we are simply not taking any chances," Elodie Sampere from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which is overseeing the animals' acclimatisation told AFP.
Sampere said that sawing off the four Northern White rhinos' horns would also allow them to grow back straight.

"All the rhinos had horns that didn’t grow upright. This is a result of them being in the zoo and not having trees to rub against," she said.


D.B. Echo said...

I have always wondered why the rhinos in Garamba didn't have their horns trimmed on a regular basis (other than the fact that Garamba is the size of "part of Scotland.") I thought that this would make them unappealing to poachers - hopefully the poachers would notice the absent horns before they killed the rhinos - and possibly the harvested horn could then be sold, effectively "flooding" the market in an incremental way.

Gareth said...

Selling the "harvested" horn would be a very bad idea I think, as it would only increase the demand.

And the trouble with de-horning the rhinos is that it didn't really stop the rhinos from being killed. If a poacher has spent 24 hours tracking down a rhino only then to discover it doesn't have a horn, he kills it ANYWAY, so that he won't make the same mistake a second time.