Saving Rhinos

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has!”

-margaret mead

Time is running out for our rhino. Horn is seen as a mythical element in Asian culture; it is said to heal cancer, cure hangovers as well as common colds, it is used as a status symbol of wealth, it is called the new cocaine of the rich and it is worked into bracelets or carvings, while taking our rhino population to the brink of extinction.

Have a look at this interesting article about the reasons rhino horn is so popular in Asia with Vietnam being the biggest market for the illegal trade.

We support every initiative to safeguard the future of the species anywhere in Africa, and we believe that it is crucial to look at every case individually and decide for the best option in each part of the continent, on each reserve and park affected by poaching. Rhino Rescue Project devaluates the horn by treating it with a compound made up of ectoparasiticides and indelible dye that contaminates the horn and renders it useless for ornamental or medicinal use. For more information, please click on the link below- its worth a read!

Dehorning is one preventive measure of many, used to better the chances for survival of our chubby unicorns. It is definitely not the solution but it does take pressure off the boots on the ground in the reserves we work with.  During the de-horning process, the team darts the animals from a helicopter. This minimises the risk of losing the animal after darting and allows staff to herd the individual away from potentially dangerous obstacles. Once the animal is down, it will be blindfolded and have earplugs put in to reduce stress as much as possible. The rhino’s horn is then cut off just above the growth plate using a chainsaw. (This does not hurt the animal whatsoever- one could compare it to clipping nails.) Does dehorning affect the rhino’s behavior? There is no conclusive evidence of side effects as most animals are monitored after a procedure to ensure their well being and safety.

We are not necessarily big fans of having to take off the one thing that makes our rhino so special and usually end up in tears while cutting away the most iconic part of these animals. But as we see them get back up after the darting and run into the bush, we do end up smiling as we know they will live another day.

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