In an African reserve, the authorities have decided to use a rather radical strategy to counter poaching: they have chosen to inject venom into rhino horns.
Rhino horns are highly sought after around the world. This has created a serious threat to these animals. The poachers shoot them only for their horns.
The poison does not affect the health of the animals, but it can affect humans if they eat products such as poisoned horns. Read on to learn more about this project.
Injecting venom into rhinoceros to protect them
This occurs in the Sabi Game Reserve – a private nature reserve in the famous Kruger National Park, which is the most visited park in South Africa.
The project involves injecting rhinos with a mixture of an indelible pink dye and a relatively common anti-parasite.
This poison removes ticks from cows and other animals, and it is often used. However, it can cause nausea and vomiting if people ingest it.
If you inject this poison into the rhinoceros horns, man will not be able to use it, because the powder made from the horns can not be ingested.
However, the pink color is not as strong as some digitally altered images on the internet show.
The park rangers assure that they are not doing anything illegal, and they also inform about the project in newspapers and on social networks.
It is a normal treatment for parasites in these rhinos that is performed, although the agent is not usually injected into the horns of the rhinos.
The color can be detected during security checks at airports, which makes it more difficult to smuggle the horns out of the country.
With that said, some experts have questioned the program. They say the poachers will only move to other areas.
It will also be impossible to perform the process on a large number of animals as anesthesia is required to treat them.
The value of rhino horns
Rhino horns are very precious objects. These horns are sometimes used as ornaments, but the main purpose is to hunt them for human consumption.
This practice has meant that the rhinos are now endangered, and the number of animals in the wild has decreased drastically.
This is because rhino horns are an important ingredient in Asian medicine. Why? Because they are considered to have magical healing properties. This is of course completely false.
According to Chinese tradition, they can cure a large number of diseases; everything from cancer to infertility and parasites.
It is well known, however, that these horns have no medical use. Why can they not be used as medical treatment?
Because these horns only contain keratin and nothing else. This is the same substance found in all animals’ fur and nails, including humans.
So eating rhino horn has the same medical effect as if you were to eat nails, for example, ie. no one at all.
The rhino is now endangered due to Chinese medicine. However, there are projects like the one we have talked about today that help save the rhino from becoming extinct.
What do you think? Will this project injecting venom into rhinoceros help them?