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Rhino Accidently Killed In Demo Aimed To Stop Poachers

Rhino Accidently Killed In Demo Aimed To Stop Poachers

A demonstration to show new anti-poaching techniques developed by an animal reserve in South Africa took a disastrous turn when the rhino used in the procedure accidently died.

The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve in Pretoria, South Africa invited journalists and animal activists to watch the process where veterinarians inject the horn of a rhinoceros with a neon pink dye and an insecticide as well as a tracking device in order to stop poachers from killing the endangered animals.

The dye is similar to the one used by banks to mark†money during robberies. The idea is to help law enforcement to identify rhino horns that may be sold on the black market. The insecticide is used to protect the animals against ticks.

Twenty rhinos have already undergone the procedure at the animal reserve without any problems.

Lorinda Hern, spokesperson for the reserve said the technique was developed to stop poachers from killing the endangered animals and taking their horns. Last year, a record 448 rhinos were poached in South Africa, so their horns could be used in traditional Chinese medicine.

The horns have become popular among middle-class Asians who believe they possess medical benefits.

Tests are underway to determine why the male rhino in his twenties died, but veterinarians think there were complications from either the sedative or the drug used to revive the animal.

Ms. Hern said, “It’s sad for us; itís the loss of another animal. It’s a death that I still chalk up to poaching.”

Joseph Okori, a wildlife veterinarian and a World Wildlife Fund rhino expert was present for the demonstration. He said, “There is always a potention risk that a sedated animal will die.”

“The whole issue is, we are facing a serious rhino poaching crisis. This is a war. The desperation is quite high for rhino owners, to do whatever it takes to protect their rhinos,” said Okori.


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Photo from ripton via flickr.

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2:45PM PDT on Sep 11, 2014

The Rhino just can't catch a break.

4:52AM PDT on Jul 9, 2013

thank you for sharing 9/7

6:06AM PDT on May 19, 2013

Sad news... :'(

3:03AM PDT on Mar 18, 2013

We need to go back to the drawing board to improve sedation and treatment of rhinos. The only thing pure in life is intent.

2:04AM PDT on Mar 16, 2013


7:47AM PDT on Mar 12, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

5:29AM PST on Mar 9, 2013

Rhinos definately need help against poachers. just a shame this had to happen.

7:20PM PST on Feb 2, 2013

I'm with Seth H!

5:01AM PST on Jan 26, 2013

This is a sad situation. But it is better that a few may die accidentally in this way than for the majority to be deliberately slaughtered by poachers.
All poachers should face an automatic death penalty if and when caught and all game wardens should be given the order to shoot poachers on sight.

12:06PM PST on Jan 25, 2013

Good reason, bad outcome.

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