A rhino is killed every six hours in Africa; hopefully this device puts an end to future poaching.
In an attempt to preserve endangered rhinos, British officials have now begun inserting spy cameras into rhino horns to deter poachers from hunting them. This news follows shortly after another controversial tactic: dyeing rhino horns pink to lessen poachers’ interest and degrade the horns’ value.
With a rhino butchered every six hours in Africa, it’s easy to understand why conservationists are volunteering a multitude of different tactics.
Mirror reports that the British system also intends to utilize satellite tracking collars and heart-rate monitors to pinpoint attacks on rhinos. These devices will help alert rangers of a potential attack and allow helicopters to track the land animals’ movements.
Partnered with the ingenious ‘spy cams’, poachers will have no time to escape, and video footage will be captured to prosecute those who hunt illegally.
The system is soon to be trialed in South Africa and is also being adapted for elephants and tigers. With many of the world’s exotic and majestic species on the decline, no doubt more of these innovative solutions are needed to help stop the horrendous crimes being carried out against innocent animals, of which future generations will have to endure.
“A rhino is butchered every six hours in Africa,” said Dr. Paul O’Donoghue from Chester University, who is responsible for developing the RAPID (Real-time Anti-Poaching Intelligence Device). “The issues are many, but there’s far too much money at stake to believe that legislation alone can make the difference”
For this reason, he – and many others – hope the RAPID device not only grants the rangers enough time to stop an attack and take into custody those involved but deter poachers from even considering hunting in the future
“You can’t outrun a helicopter – this renders poaching a pointless exercise.”
What is clear is that something must be done. Since 2007, the poaching of rhinos has increased by more than 9,000-fold in South Africa.
Because patrols cannot effectively cover every part of the vast landscape, it is easy for poachers to carry out their gruesome duty with little chance of being caught.
Said project director, Steve Piper: “We hope to have a fully functional control centre established early next year.”
And he’s not alone; South African ecologist Dean Peinke stated that the new devices “tipped the balance strongly in conservationists’ favour”.
“We simply don’t know where or when the poachers might strike. So to effectively patrol these areas requires an army but they would still find a gap,” he said.
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