Rhino Conservation

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Rhino Conservation makes monitoring of each animal essential

The rhino poaching crisis is dramatically escalating and if something isn’t done they will soon go extinct in the wild. Since 2007 rhino poaching has escalated by more than 9,000% in South Africa and organized criminal networks have become involved. There is no one activity that can be done to protect rhinos, it is the joint work of many people to protect these beautiful creatures.

Anti-poaching rangers form the first and last line of defense for rhinos. It is very important to have well trained, well equipped, effectively deployed field rangers who are motivated. These essential personal are on the ground daily to protect rhinos, sometimes facing very dangerous situations. The rangers are the best chance of catching rhino poachers.

The monitoring of rhinos is essential for keeping track each animal, that entails knowing population demographics, habitat utilization and recognizing movement patterns. It is also the the best way to identify if a rhino has been poached. The information that is collected can be used by managers to plan trans-locations and introductions.

It is important to teach the the children of today to be the wildlife stewards of the future, we must teach then the benefits of wildlife and how to protect them. As well as making them conscious of how to preserve wildlife and pass that message onto the wider community.

The best way to manage and ensure the best possible growth of the populations of rhinos is translocatins. This is too ensure that an area does not have too high of a density of rhinos and ensure it has not reached carrying capacity.

Protecting rhino’s in the wild can be very challenging and uncertain, especially in the early stages of youth of the rhino. This is too ensure that every infant reaches adulthood due too the low birth rate of rhinos in general. When populations get so low like the Sumatran rhino it is important to have an insurance population in captivity and carry out breeding programs.

It has been identified that that the demand for rhino horn is the main driving force for the escalating in poaching if rhinos. The reduction of the demand for rhino horn in consumer countries is essential to reduce poaching and protect rhinos for the long term.

All these aspects are essential for the conservation of all endangered species but more so for the rhino, by being conscious of these points we can help care for these beautiful creatures and ensure that our children and grandchildren will be able too see these animals.

De-horning of Rhinos in South Africa

Rhinos are facing an escalating poaching crisis at the moment and unless something dramatic is done to protect them they will go extinct in the wild. There is no one silver single bullet that helps rhino conservation, what is needed is a wide range of activities. One of these activities is the dehorning of rhinos.

Background

Rhinos have no feeling in their horns, so when they get dehorned by a trained vet, they feel no pain what so ever. The horn gets sawn of about 2 inches from the skin. It is like cutting your nails. Unfortunately, when poachers (illegal hunters) dehorn Rhinos, they cut deep into the flesh of the rhino to get as much horn as possible. This is extremely painful for the animal if it is still alive. In most cases, the rhino is not shot dead but only wounded. They suffer immense pain. You can imagine what it should feel like if someone cuts into your face with a chain saw… A dehorned Rhino has a much better chance at survival and the horn grows back within three years.

The video

Two Rhinos were poached in the area which forced a neighboring farm to dehorn all their rhinos. A team of about 20 people dehorned 4 Rhino cows. A representative of Nature Conservation must be present at all times to ensure that all permits are in place. It takes about 7 minutes for a Rhino to go down after it has been darted and about 15 minutes to dehorn it. At the same time Vets injects them with vitamins. Blood samples are also taken for tests and the condition of each rhino is investigated. A Microchip is then placed in the remaining part of the horn.

When this baby rhino’s mother went down after being darted, it immediately climbed on top of its mother, as if it wanted to protect her. The team had their work cut out to get it away from its mother so that they could start working on her. The calf never moved more than 20 meters away and kept making calling sounds towards its mother. It can be compared to the sounds dolphins make. It is a very unique sound. The calf was very restless throughout the 15 minutes that mum was down. It also charged the team a couple of times. It was however not long before mum was back on her feet and rejoined her calf as they walked back into the bush.

Rhino poaching is a huge problem in South Africa. Farmers are literarily spending millions of rand for security and protection of the remaining Rhinos. At the moment they are losing the war, but they will continue to fight against Rhino Poaching.