Reserve Injects Poison Into The Horns Of Rhinos To Protect Them

Rhino horns are trafficked every year to supply Asian medicine. One initiative proposes making them toxic to save this species.
Reserva injects poison into the horns of rhinos to protect them

Rhinoceros horns are one of the targets of poachers, which has brought these animals to a serious threat. An African reserve decided to use a somewhat radical strategy to protect the animals from illegal trafficking: injecting poison into the horns of rhinos, which, while not affecting the animals’ health, can prevent the consumption of products made with them.

Poison on rhino horns to protect them

This happens in Sabi Sand, a private reserve located within the famous Kruger National Park, the most visited in South Africa. The project involves injecting dozens of rhinos with a poison with a mixture of indelible pink dye and relatively common antiparasitics that, although eliminate ticks in cattle, can cause nausea and vomiting when consumed by humans.

Injecting rhino horns with poison to protect them

Park managers ensure that they are not doing anything illegal, as the initiative is being publicized both on social networks and in the park itself, through posters. It is still a normal antiparasitic treatment for these animals, although it is not usually customary to inject the solution into their horns.

The dye can be “hunted” by airport detection systems, which also makes it difficult to traffic these horns. Even so, some experts have questioned the project, as it could move poachers to other locations, as well as being virtually impossible to carry out on a large scale on many animals, as the process requires anesthesia.

the value of horns

Rhinoceros horns are among the objects most desired by those who carry out illegal trafficking in endangered species and, although their use can be ornamental, the fact is that they are often consumed.

This caused all the rhino species on the planet to be seriously threatened and their populations to decrease due to indiscriminate hunting.

The value of rhino horns

This is because the rhinoceros is appreciated by Asian medicine, mainly because it would have supposed magical effects that are totally false. According to Chinese tradition, the horn can cure everything from cancer to infertility, as well as infectious or parasitic diseases.

The null capacity of the rhinoceros horn is well known, as it is composed only of keratin, the same substance that makes up the hair or nails of all animals, including the human species. Therefore, consuming rhinoceros horn has the same pharmacological effect as eating nails: none.

Thus, the rhinoceros becomes another animal threatened by oriental medicine, although some initiatives like this one aim to protect this emblematic species from extinction. Do you think injecting poison into the horns of rhinos will help save them?

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