Expresso show reminds us all of the essential points on RhinoProtect action.
RhinoProtect is a private organisation dedicated to rolling out a potentially life-saving, species-preserving horn treatment in the fight against rhino poaching. The horn treatment is a barium-laced dye that has a two-fold function:
Makes the horn unpalatable and indigestible for humans
Makes it easily detectable by airport/custom scanners
The horn treatment is not lethal to humans, but can cause severe vomiting and diarrhoea that could require hospitalisation.
The horn treatment is not harmful for the animal, although there are risks involved in tranquilising the animal.
The trauma is reduced as the process takes approximately thirty minutes to complete.
To date, Inverdoorn Game Reserve's three rhinos have been spared.
The rhino horn is made of the same substance as human hair – keratin. It is a complex protein, which has no proven medicinal benefits.
Dehorning a rhino is traumatic and stressful for the animal and in some instances can still lead to the death of the animal.
Dehorning a rhino is no guarantee that the animal will not be poached for the stump, as the base of the rhino horn is the heaviest and therefore still attractive to poachers.
Dehorning the rhino in a way that damages the growth plate or base of the horn can result in the horn not growing back or, worst-case scenario, the animal could die due to infection.
The process of dehorning is extremely dangerous to the animal as the tranquilising places extreme stress on the animal's heart.
In 2011 a reported 448 rhinos were killed for their horn and a further 159 were poached for the first quarter of 2012.
Approximately 90 suspected poachers have been arrested in South Africa this year already. So far none have been convicted.