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The moment a black rhino’s horn is sawn off using a chainsaw by kind hearted rangers to save him from predatory poachers

This is the moment a safari park took drastic action to stop poachers from killing a rare black rhino and sawed off its valuable horn using a chainsaw.

The project to remove horns of white and rare black rhinos is by the World Heritage Site in eastern South Africa, was to stop them from being attacked by poachers.

Sold for £10,000-per-pound, rhino horn is now worth more than its weight in gold in parts of Asia where it is peddled as a remedy for a number of ailments from hangovers to cancer.

The procedure – which has been compared to cutting a toenail without damaging the ‘quick’ – took vet Mike Kock just 20 minutes per sedated animal using a high-powered chain saw.

Prince Harry was reportedly involved in de-horning rhino in Namibia last month. His role was apparently to fly the helicopter as a vet darted the animals from the air.

Conservationists are increasingly resorting to the radical measure in a bid to render the animals ‘worthless’ to poachers.

During the first four months of this year, 400 rhinos were killed for their horn in South Africa – a 20 per cent rise on last year.

The iSimgaliso Park in KwaZulu-Natal, where this week’s extensive programme is taking place, has lost more animals than any other province in the country.

The park’s head, Andrew Zaloumis said the horns of 20 animals were measured, weighed and documented before being shipped off ‘to a secret location and kept under lock and key’.

The heaviest horn, taken from a rare black rhino, weighed 8lbs and could fetch upwards of £80,000 on the black market in Asia.

‘Without their horns, the rhinos have no value to poachers,’ said Tony Conway, the park’s conservation manager.

‘Hopefully they are now able to roam freely and breed without being targeted for their horn.’

The park’s managers refuse to say what will happen to the horn – which fetch up to £10,000 per pound.

Mr Zaloumis said the park was forced to get a special permit to de-horn the animals and bring in vets Dave Cooper and Mike Kock after an unprecedented surge of killing at iSimangaliso.

‘We will consider all strategies that help stop this onslaught against defenceless animals and our natural heritage. Removing their horns has now given these rhinos a better chance of survival.’

A programme to educate visitors to the park, who will see the de-horned rhinos, is also under way.

‘Some people may feel that a rhino without a horn is not a real rhino, but as far as we are concerned a rhino without a horn alive is preferable to a dead rhino with a horn,’ Mr Zaloumis said.

‘The only predators that are a threat to rhinos are poachers. And because all the rhinos in this population are de-horned at the same time, there is a level playing field if there is a confrontation between any of them.’

Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////my-lifestyle.co
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!
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