Science

Zookepers Are Now Cutting Off The Horns Of All Their Rhinos

By Lewis Powell , Mar 22, 2017 04:10 AM EDT
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Rhino Horns have been a precious commodity for a very long time. It is sold at a very high price at the black market, and that's why these animals are hunted to the brink of extinction.

The Incident That Started The Commotion

Earlier this month, the Independent reported that a Rhino was killed. Although news of the animal's poaching is already a fact in today's society, what's so special in this case is that the creature was killed inside a zoo. Specifically, the Rhino was killed inside the Thoiry Zoo which is located just west of Paris.

On the night of March 7, it was reported that one or more poachers forced their way inside the Rhino enclosure where three rhinos lived. Unfortunately, the four-year-old Rhino named Vince was shot three times in the head. And afterward, the poachers cut off his horn with a chainsaw. Although they were able to get his first horn, the poachers failed to get his second horn as it was only cut halfway through, indicating that either the poachers ran out of time or the chainsaw broke down.

Another good thing is that the other two Rhinos in the enclosure were unharmed. Bruno, a five-year-old and Gracie, a 37-year-old rhino were reported to be safe and healthy.

The Aftermath

The recent attack in the Thoiry Zoo signaled the start of a new threat to the endangered animal outside of Africa and Asia. Buzzfeed monitored the reaction to this new threat and published an article about it.

According to Buzzfeed, the Dvur Kralove Zoo in Prague has made a shocking decision regarding their resident Rhinos. On March 20, the zoo decided to cut off all of their Rhinos' horns to protect them from being killed. Specifically, the zoo has four white Rhinos and 17 black Rhinos.

The Zoo Director, Premysl Rabas said that their first concern is for the safety of these animals and that a dehorned Rhino is definitely better than a dead Rhino. On the other hand, the zoo officials were quick to assure the public that this decision will in no way harm these animals. According to their site, the procedure to remove the horns are painless and has been used in other facilities for safety reasons. Furthermore, they mention that the effects of cutting the horns are temporary as these grow back just like fingernails.

At this point, there is no actual count as to how many Rhinos are left in the world. Hopefully, this small step would ripple into a bigger effect that would lead to the resurgence of the species.

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