Johannesburg’s white rhinos have been dehorned for a second time to protect them from poachers. Rhinos in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve were first dehorned in March 2010 within days of poachers killing two animals.
However, horns need to be cut at three-year intervals, so the council recently put together a professional team to haul out their chainsaws.
When rhinos are dehorned in the correct way the horns will regrow in a similar way to fingernails.
Rhino horn grows an estimated 4 to 7cm a year.
“A qualified game capturer conducted the dehorning operation and an applicable dehorning permit was in place for this process,” said council spokesperson Selby Bokaba.
“An official from Gauteng Nature Conservation also observed the whole operation.
“The animals and horns were microchipped and DNA samples were taken for the data bank at Onderstepoort.”
Rhino poaching is a national threat with 1 722 poached between 2010 and April 30 this year.
The number of poaching incidents for Gauteng was 25 for the same period.
“The threat necessitates emergency interventions to minimise the risk of poaching incidents,” said Bokaba. “As a result, all the rhinoceros in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve were dehorned to protect them against possible poachers.” More....