Rhino’s horns are being fitted with cameras to catch poachers red handed.
The endangered animals are being fitted with ‘horn cams’ in a bid to protect them from illegal poaching.
British activists created the cameras that fit into the horn itself, and transmit 24/7 via a system called Protect RAPID (Real-time Anti-Poaching Intelligence Device). The monitor includes a heart rate monitor and a GPS sensor, so the whereabouts are always known, as well as if the animal is in any distress.
The heart rate monitor sets off an alarm if it increases, which alerts the operators to check in on the animal.
Dr Paul O’Donoghue, chief scientific adviser for Protect said:
With this device, the heart rate monitor triggers the alarm the instant a poaching event occurs, pinpointing the location within a few meters so that rangers can be on the scene via helicopter or truck within minutes, leaving poachers no time to harvest the valuable parts of an animal or make good an escape.
You can’t outrun a helicopter, the Protect RAPID renders poaching a pointless exercise.
Until now, the main problem for anti-poaching organisations is that they aren’t aware of an incident until after it’s happened, when the rhino is already dead, or close to it. But this way, they can catch poachers in the act and stop it before it happens, as well as it being a massive deterrent to poachers because they know they can’t get away with it anymore.
Currently a rhino is butchered every six hours in Africa, the issues are many, but there’s far too much money at stake to believe that legislation alone can make the difference, we had to find a way to protect these animals effectively in the field; the killing has to be stopped.
Rhino poaching in South Africa has increased by 9,300% since 2007, which is RIDICULOUS, so hopefully that statistic will drop significantly.