Friday, November 11, 2011

For Ian--It's Controversial, Costly, and The Horn's Grow Back Making It Costly, Over and Over Again.

18-Nov-09 8:00 AM CST
International Rhino Foundation

Rhinos De-Horned to Stop Poaching

Three black rhinos at Imire Safari Park have been dehorned in order to prevent them from being killed by poachers. Imire has four black and two white rhino, and all but one baby have now been dehorned. An estimated 200 rhino have been killed by poachers in the last three years.

MARONDERA – In August 2007: Imire lost three of their rhinos. Even though they had been dehorned, they were brutally killed by poachers. It has been speculated that the poachers were not aware that the rhinos had been dehorned. However, they managed to cut off the male rhino’s stub of horn, so some believe that the massacre of these dehorned rhinos was a politically motivated act, and that the poachers were fully aware that these rhino did not have horns but went out and killed them anyway.

Another theory is that poachers have now resorted to killing off rhinos for the sake of being able to cover more ground when it comes to poaching. That way they can keep track of the rhinos that are still alive in certain areas and can then condense the margin they have to cover when poaching. Zimbabwe has become a hot spot for rhino poaching, and with the demand for rhino horns ever increasing from the Asian market, the question remains; how can these relentless poachers be stopped? Dehorning is one solution, as it stops giving poachers a reason to kill these animals. The Rhino are sedated, a qualified vet is brought in, and the horn is literally sawn off. They suffer no pain, and are back on their feet in a matter of minutes.

However the act of dehorning has been quite a controversial topic, with the main argument being that rhinos use their horns for grazing, and for protection in the wild. If the animals are dehorned it may affect their entire social behavior. Reily Travis, who has lived on Imire his entire life, and runs the volunteer programme on the farm, thinks that there is another way
that Zimbabwe can save the rhinos and their horns. He explained that it costs in the region of US$200,000 to capture and re-release rhinos into safer areas, and to dehorn them. He believes this money should rather be used on a tracking system. This involves a UV-based chip being implanted in the rhino’s horn – giving 24 hour surveillance.

“The process of dehorning has been going on for 10 years and unfortunately has not made a big enough impact. The rate of poaching still doubles each year,” explained Travis. Another point that Travis made, was that if these rhino did have chips in their horns, they could then also track where and how these horns were being smuggled out of the country. This would hopefully lead to exposing the culprits that are involved in these illegal dealings. He added that the money used for capturing and dehorning the rhino could also be channeled towards National Parks employees, who he thinks have lost motivation because they are not being given enough incentive and do not have enough equipment to protect these animals “It is so important to keep the people on the ground happy because they are, at the end of the day, putting their lives on the line to ensure the safety of these rhinos,” he said.

South African conservationist, Michael Eustace told the South African TV show, Carte Blanche, recently that the solution to the poaching problem was to flood the market. He estimated that the revenue could be up to US$90 million per annum. By flooding the market, the price of the Rhino horn comes down, which means that the act of poaching these rhinos becomes less attractive. National Parks have obtained an estimated 40kg of horns which could be used to flood the market. However Travis disagrees, saying that the market will only keep growing and eventually Zimbabwe will not be able to meet the demands of the consumers, and the poachers will return. He also argues that legalizing the sale of rhino horns would have to be a national effort in which all parties concerned would have to undertake the dehorning and legal sale of the horns. With the high level poaching syndicate that exists in Zimbabwe, it is unlikely that the selling of these horns would remain above board.

DEHORNING OF BLACK (Diceros bicornis ... - Rhino Resource Center



Greg May said...

Prince William - who was blocked from the British throne during his mom's Diamond Jubilee - is campaigning to save the endangered rhinos from poachers. William and wife Kate believe evil stepmom Camilla was behind the Queen's decision to make Daddy Charles her heir by convincing the Queen the royal couple (William and Kate) are too immature to rule. Prince William was shown on UK TV feeding 'Zawadi' - a rhino raised in England and about to be shipped back to Africa for release in the wild. To amuse his wife, the Prince named the rhino 'Camilla'.

Wade G. Burck said...

If there is anything more dysfunctional then a "royal family" I don't know what it could possibly be.


Greg May said...

Gives an all new meaning to 'royal flush'. In my readings of FORTEAN TIMES and other books on alien phenomena there is a theory that the British royal family are 'reptoid aliens'.