Welcome to Spotlight – here we highlight organizations doing invaluable work on the ground to support and protect endangered species. Our first featured organization is Rhino Rescue Project. RRP is doing groundbreaking work in rhino conservation and using some very new technology to help curb rhino poaching and hopefully save an iconic species.
Recently, Ranger Gareth Legg spoke with Lorinda Hern – one of the founding members of Rhino Rescue Project and a very special conservationist and friend to the rhinos and all animals great and small.
Could you share with Earth-Comix fans a little more about the work you’re doing?
We pioneered a rhino horn devaluation technique in 2010, where the horns of live animals are contaminated with liquid toxins and colouring agents in an attempt to make the animals less attractive targets to poachers.
Is the infusion dangerous for people to handle or use the horn for TCM “traditional Chinese medicine”?
Yes, most of the liquids in the infusion’s “cocktail” are generally not compounds we would advise humans to handle or consume, as it could have some nasty side effects.
How often does the treatment need to be done to make it an effective deterrent in rhino poaching?
A full horn growth cycle normally ranges between three to four years, so treatment would only have to be re-administered after that period has elapsed.
Does the treatment impact the growth of the horn?No, not at all. This was one of the reasons we opted to develop a treatment of this sort, rather than having to remove the horns altogether. We wanted the animals to be protected from poachers, but with their horns intact, as nature intended.
How can the Earth-Comix followers get involved and help with the amazing conservation work Rhino Rescue Project is doing?
Please spread the word far and wide about this workable interim solution to the poaching scourge, one that isn’t being given due consideration by relevant stakeholders at the moment. We have seen devaluation procedures yield amazing results in terms of deterring poachers – more should be done to roll out this method on a larger scale. So, visit our website, www.rhinorescueproject.org, or follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter and get involved.
Here are some images from the work of the Rhino Rescue Project: