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Rhino911 comes up with new measures to curb poaching

EWN Lifestyle took part in a helicopter tagging mission, where two rhino were being labelled in an attempt to curb poaching of the animals.

The Rhino911 team. Picture: Refilwe Pitjeng/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Rhino rescue group Rhino911 recently took EWN Lifestyle on a helicopter tagging mission from Brits to Pilansberg National Park in the North West.

The tagging is done from a helicopter where a vet darts the rhino with anaesthetic.

Rhino911 works with veterinarians and park ecologists to make sure these animals receive the best possible care when they have been injured or orphaned due to poaching.

When the animal starts falling asleep, a towel is put over its eyes and earplugs are inserted so that it is not traumatised by the activity.

The team then take DNA from its horn and tags its ear.

The tagging and extracting of the DNA are done to help locate the rhino if it dies and the DNA can link poachers to the horn.

Rhino 911 is the first respondent on any poaching, injury or incursion calls in the North West – one of the provinces most ravished by poaching.

The organisation can also airlift and evacuate a wounded Rhino to receive more intensive care.

15 SUSPECTED RHINO POACHERS ARRESTED

Meanwhile, 15 people were arrested in August for their alleged involvement in rhino poaching.

A task team that includes officials from government and the South African National Parks confirmed the breakthrough.

More than 350 rhino poachers have been convicted since January this year.

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