WATCH: Project Rhino's de-horning costs mount in KZN's poaching stronghold

2017-11-13 13:30 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Cape Town - With the intense rhino poaching war seeing no end, many like-minded organisations are trying to do everything necessary to save what's left of the rhino population globally. 

As a measure, Project Rhino is making a national and international call for funding to have approximately 200 rhino de-horned in KwaZulu-Natal, over the next year.

SEE: #ShockWildlifeTruth: Pregnant rhino and calf found dead at Pilanesberg National Park

The project, established in 2011, facilitates vital rhino conservation interventions.

According to Project Rhino, the de-horning of these rhino is seen as a temporary measure to protect against poachers but it has become an " ongoing process, as the horn grows (back) after removal.”

'No horn means less risk'

"We found that this is a more effective strategy within smaller reserves, where we can de-horn the entire population and it is the most cost-effective way of keeping the poachers at bay," says, Simon Morgan, conservationist from Wildlife Act . 

SEE: WATCH: Baby rhino and hippo shine spotlight on poaching in SA

Jefe Perrish, Vice President at Wildlife Conservation Network says, "KwaZulu-Natal is one the strongholds for both black and white rhinos but they are under massive threat," he adds.  

The group, so far, has conducted 25 horn removals from KZN reserves since June this year, which cost a total of R200 000 and now it is faced with overwhelming requests to conduct over 200 more horn removals, which will cost approximately R1.6 million. 

The organisation says at an average of R7 000-8 000 per rhino, the costs quickly add up and have been further exacerbated by other budget demands and budget cuts to many Rhino Reserves. 

One of the ways to achieve this is to offer both local and international members of the public, a chance to be directly involved in this critical conservation work.

"Project Rhino works with all its members to ensure the security of every rhino. Our responsibility is to offer support for de-horning to mitigate the poaching threat. Every horn that is removed, is micro-chipped and recorded as per legislation, with the sole responsibility lying with the partner reserves that request the support," says Project Rhino.

Watch video below: 

NOTE: For more information or to make a donation, visit the group’s website.

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