PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA, July 29 — Rhinoceroses at the Kragga Kamma Game Reserve in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province have had their horns surgically removed in the hope that this will reverse the threat of poaching.
Chuck, a seven-year-old bull was the first to be darted, followed by Ballita, a six-year-old female. Once the drug kicked in, the de-horning took place.
Michael Cantor from the Kragga Kamma Game Reserve, near here, said it was a very difficult decision to remove the horns.
“It alters the look of the animal and it just looks wrong. However, although we have a 24-hour guard on our animals, we thought we needed to do something extra to safeguard them.”
This is the second time in three years that the rhinos have had their horns surgically removed.
Fifteen-year-old Bella also had her horn removed. Her three year old calf Bembi was frantic about the procedure being carried out on her mother.
Rhino use their horns for a number of things including protection, social interaction and foraging for food. More than 550 rhino have been killed by poachers so far this year and 157 people have been arrested.
Fortunately, none of the rhino at Kragga Kamma will be added to those statistics.