The preservation of these wild animals is worth every penny.
As the rhino population around the world rapidly decreases, there’s one leading cause that conservationists point to: poaching.
In 2015, fifty rhinos were illegally killed in Zimbabwe alone for their horns, which is double the amount that were killed the year prior. As poachers get bolder in their attempts to make off with the profitable horn, rhinos are dying by the dozens and barely reproducing.
Zimbabwe has decided that they can’t stand idly by while rhinos go extinct because humans care more about profit than conservation, not realizing that the more rhinos they kill, the less profit they’ll have in the future because they are quickly going extinct.
The country is set to launch a strategy to fend off poachers from targeting the rhinos in their national parks by safely dehorning the animals. Over 100 rhinos in the state-run parks will be dehorned, and they are considering dehorning the animals in the private game reserves as well.
“We want to send a message to poachers that they will not get much if they come to Zimbabwe,” said Lisa Maribini, director of operations at Aware Trust Zimbabwe.
The Trust is one of two organizations that is set to help the country with dehorning the rhinos. She added that should the country decide to also remove the horns of rhinos in the private game reserves, that would be an additional 600 rhinos that they could help.
Rhino horn is a prized commodity in Asia for its use in traditional medicine and the demand for it is high. Last year, a record of 1,305 rhinos were killed illegally in Africa, according to conservation groups.
It costs $1,200 to dehorn one rhino, but the cost is well worth the preservation of these amazing creatures whose numbers are quickly decreasing because of poaching. As it is, there are species of rhino that became extinct in the wild because of the horrible practice.
Though the buying and selling of rhino horn was banned internationally in 1977, the illegal trade is currently stronger than ever, so hopefully, this new measure will slow it down.
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