Anti-Poaching Demonstration Leads To Dead Rhino

A new procedure meant to stop the illegal poaching of endangered Rhino’s ended in tragedy on Thursday when a sedated rhinoceros died in front of a group of stunned journalists.

Veterinarians sedated the animal so they could implant a tracking device in the Rhino’s horn and then inject it with dye and a pesticide that would make the horn toxic to humans.

Charles van Niekerk, the vet who developed the procedure and was performing the procedure told the Globe and Mail:

“It’s a tragedy, it’s a disaster.”

The rhino that passed away was named Spencer and according to the vet he was relatively old. It’s still not clear exactly what led to the animals death but a postmortem examination will be completed to determine if a heart condition may have been to blame.

According to Van Niekerk this is the first time a rhino has died during the procedure, although placing such a large animal under sedation is always a risk.

An increase in poaching in South Africa has led to desperate measures being taken to protect the failing Rhino population including the experimental procedure being demonstrated during the rhinoceros’ death.

While the event was tragic researchers, including Charles van Niekerk, plan to continue the procedure in order to make the practice of poaching dangerous to humans and therefore no longer profitable.

Do you think there are better methods available for stopping Rhino poachers or do drastic measures need to be taken when there’s still a population left to protect?

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