Rhinoceroses chipped

Source: dierennieuws.nl
For the first time, at the end of December, black rhinoceroses in Kenya were given a microchip in the horn and a notch in the ear. These measures are meant to curtail poaching. In the course of 2014, all 1030 rhinoceroses in Kenya should be chipped.
The first rhinoceroses to be chipped live in the Masai Mara Game Reserve. This park is adjacent to the world-famous Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Rhinos, both black and white, belong to the ‘big five’ for which tourists come to Kenya. These tourists bring valuable income into the country. Unfortunately, the rhinos are vulnerable to poaching because of their valuable horns. In 2013, 21 rhinos are known to have been killed in Kenya by poachers.

The microchips will enable the tracking of all rhinoceroses. In addition, it will become possible to link any horn confiscated to a specific animal – which is especially important to legal cases. The chip will provide crucial evidence, often lacking until now.

The chips and the scanners are provided by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in order to combat poaching practices. The WWF is employing these new technologies to break the chain of illegal rhinoceros horn trade. Poachers have been making use of increasingly ingenious methods; in Africa and Azia, poaching is big business. High demand for products and poor enforcement of the law in these parts of the world play into the hands of organised crime. This ‘wildlife crime’ is worth 6 to 8 billion euros each year. In Kenya, WWF works with the Kenyan Wildlife Service to combat protected animal species poaching and trade.