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Rhino dehorned

“IF you cannot beat them, beat them to it. That was the Kragga Kamma Game Park’s rationale when they dehorned their four rhinos yesterday in a bid to deter poachers.”

(Report here)

“”“Happy to see the girls happily grazing as though yesterday never happened….

(comment and pictures from the park’s Facebook page)

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  1. July 31, 2014 at 7:47 am

    This is outside my experience (and comfort zone!), I’m afraid, Soutie. It looks awful.

  2. Soutie
    July 31, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I heard on the news on Monday that 620 rhinos have been slaughtered by poachers for their horns so far this year.

    The Kragga Kamma Game Park is a small reserve within the Port Elizabeth metro’s boundaries, (not 10km from where I live.) The dehorning and subsequent publicity will perhaps ‘save’ this family. It has been known for poachers to slaughter dehorned rhino anyway, there is obviously some horn left (after the dehorning, plus it continues to grow, albeit very slowly) but such are the profits involved that they shoot them anyway!

  3. July 31, 2014 at 8:21 am

    I still say legalise the trade and make it worthwhile for farmers to breed rhinos. It has been shown that they breed well in capitivity, but who wants to own a rhino? Its too damn dangerous and expensive. Banning the trade is certainly not working. CITES is as corrupt as FIFA. Vanuatu in the South Pacific has a much say on the trade of rhino horn as South Afirca. A few thousand dollars to the Vanuatu representative encourages him to vote against the trade so that the value of existing horns goes up. Stock shortage increases the value. And while they are about it, get rid of those bloody self-serving charities that aim to prevent rhino poaching. All they do is raise the profiles of the idiots who front them and provide employment for ineffective do-gooders. A bit of common sense is called for.

  4. O Zangado
    July 31, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Mornin’ Soutie. It is a shame that such measures need to be taken to protect the rhino and, even then, success is not guaranteed, but it’s better than nothing I read elsewhere last week that the SA courts are applying eye-watering sentences for convicted poachers – decades in jail, which ought to be a deterrent, but probably won’t be. I would prefer summary justice applied by the rangers out in the bush. ”Oh look, this poor chap pressed both his wrists against the barrel of my shotgun which then went off accidentally. What a mess of bone and blood and how will he ever able to handle his poaching rifle again?”

    Seriously though, the main target has to be be the Asian ‘medicinal’ market. The practitioners don’t need to keep bears in cages with catheters attached to extract bile; they don’t need to catch a shark, saw it’s fin off and throw the bleeding and fatally wounded animal back into the sea; they don’t need ground up tiger bones to make a gullible, well=heeled customer perform like a tiger and they certainly don’t need rhino horn to produce a horn like a rhino. Instead, they need to start acting like they’ve already killed all the bears, sharks, tigers and rhinos. Then what, eh? Barstewards!

    OZ

  5. Boadicea
    July 31, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    I hope this works. The problem is that one is dealing with ignorant people who believe that all these products produce the result they are after – and even if the ‘scientific world’ tells them that a rhino’s horn has no medicinal value, or offers an alternative, they will continue to hunt to extinction rhinos, tigers and every other such animal.

  6. Soutie
    July 31, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    I agree with Sipu’s sentiments but legalising the trade would not stop the poachers, I doubt if it would even dent the demand, as with all high value items (gold, diamonds) there will always be people trying to make a profit illegally.

    The answer is to somehow bring the price down! Horns apparently sell for $100,000 a kilo (or more!)

    It is well known that rhino horn is simply keratin, that’s the stuff we all have plenty of (fingernails, hair etc.) If we could somehow produce / harvest keratin, flood the markets at perhaps $10 per kilo the poachers would no longer bother.

    But how?

  7. Soutie
    July 31, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I think that Oz is referring to this case http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/rhino-poacher-jailed-for-77-years-1.1724468#.U9pV9KPm6B8

    Three poachers, one doing 77 years in jail, one shot and subsequently died but one got away.

  8. O Zangado
    July 31, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Yes I was, Soutie, and thank you for the link which I couldn’t find earlier today. Pity one of the fekkers escaped, but perhaps he will have a salutary lesson to tell before someone ‘dehorns’ him too.

    OZ

  9. christinaosborne
    July 31, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    About time Asia had some horrendous plague, they are a total affront to humanity. Hopefully ebola will spread in that direction.

  10. christinaosborne
    July 31, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Actually a good punishment would be to hang the poachers in cages in public and cut off an inch of their ‘horn’ every few days until they died from exsanguination or plain rot, hopefully screaming.
    “For the encouragement of the others”!

  11. September 24, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Does dehorning change their behaviour. I preserve the horn is relevant to social relationships?

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