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Kenya to microchip every rhino’s horn

October 19, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Microchips to be placed in horn of every rhino in Kenya in attempt to tackle scourge of poaching.
Source The Telegraph

Microchips will be placed in the horn of every rhinoceros in Kenya in an ambitious bid to tackle the scourge of poaching, wildlife officials have announced.

The World Wildlife Fund donated the chips as well as five scanners at a cost of $15,000 (£9,400). Tracking the rhinos – there are more than 1,000 in Kenya – to dart them and fit the device will cost considerably more.

Officials believe however that it will boost the ability to prosecute poachers or traffickers, allowing for all the horns to be traced, providing potential vital information on poaching and smuggling chains.

The chips will be inserted into the horn, which is made of keratin, the same composition as fingernails.

“Poachers are getting more sophisticated in their approach,” Paul Udoto, spokesman for the Kenya Wildlife Service said.

“So it is vital that conservation efforts also follow and embrace the use of more sophisticated technology to counter the killing of wildlife.”

The KWS said in a statement: “Investigators will be able to link any poaching case to a recovered or confiscated horn, and this forms crucial evidence in court, contributing towards the prosecution’s ability to push for sentencing of a suspected rhino criminal.”

Poaching has risen sharply in Africa in recent years, with the wildlife trafficking industry thought to be worth around £6.6 billion.

In August, a white rhino was shot dead in Nairobi National Park, one of Kenya’s most heavily protected parks, in the first such killing in the area for six years.

The lucrative Asian black market has contributed to the rise of deaths, with ground rhino horn being sought to treat ailments ranging from poor libido to cancer to “devil possession”. Since 2007, rhino deaths have risen by 3,000 per cent. The incident in Nairobi National Park was the 35th death of the year, already more than the 29 in Kenya in 2012.

In South Africa, drones have been deployed in the Kruger National Park to target increasingly sophisticated poachers who are using helicopters and night-vision goggles.

As well as rhinos, whole elephant herds have been massacred for their ivory. Earlier this week, Zimbabwean wildlife authorities said they had discovered another 10 elephant carcasses, bringing the number poisoned by cyanide for their ivory to more than 100 in the past month.

In May, the Duke of Cambridge warned that elephants, rhinos and tigers risked becoming “historical creatures in the same category as the Dodo” if more was not done to stop the illegal wildlife trade.

“Either we take action to stem the trade or we will run out of the animals – there is no other outcome possible,” he said.

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stop poaching,
do whatever it takes.
extinction is the most
fatal of mistakes.

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

12 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2013 9:33 pm

    Reblogged this on Sherlockian's Blog and commented:
    Rhinos deserve our protection.


  2. October 20, 2013 1:09 am

    ll faut assurer la protection des Rhinocéros.


  3. Emy Wilhelm permalink
    October 20, 2013 1:18 am

    This a huge project but shows that authorities are taking this genocide seriously. Hopefully they can implement the same chipping methods in South Africa. Drastic action is needed.


  4. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    October 20, 2013 5:41 am

    stop poaching,
    do whatever it takes.
    extinction is the most
    fatal of mistakes.


  5. LINDABADHAM permalink
    October 20, 2013 1:08 pm



    • October 20, 2013 1:35 pm

      I am so with you on that, Linda. Paralyze them and make them suffer unimaginable pain for their crimes against animals.


  6. Manel Dias permalink
    October 29, 2013 8:11 pm

    Yes it s very important to make sure that the Animal conservationists as well to be more vigilant and use more moden & more sophisticated methods to over power the poachers or the murderers. Toether with that it is Very Important to see that the Laws are being reintroduced & stiffen the punishments very harshly. The main reason & the problem is that the Punishments are not harsh enough to fit the crimes. If you need to STOP this murder of wild life please give these poachers the death penalty and it will be the only language those cruel scumbags will understand. Until & unless you increase the severe punishments these murder of innocent animals will continue.


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