NewsEast & Horn AfricaKenya to turn to technology to save rhinos from poachers

Thu,23Nov2017

Posted on Thursday, 17 October 2013 14:34

Kenya to turn to technology to save rhinos from poachers

Kenyan Wildlife authorities are working with the World Wildlife Fund to ensure the protection of rhinos. Photo©ReutersKenya's remaining rhinos will be protected from poachers through the use of computer chips.

The tiny chips will be inserted and hidden in rhino horns and the technology is meant to protect the just over 1,000 rhinos left in the East Africa country.

Wildlife authorities have moved to work with the World Wildlife Fund to ensure that the surviving rhinos are protected.

Investigators will be able to link any poaching case to a recovered or confiscated horn

"Poachers are getting more sophisticated in their approach. So it is vital that conservation efforts also follow and embrace the use of more sophisticated technology to counter the killing of wildlife," Paul Udoto, spokesman for the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), told AFP news.

The sophisticated approach adopted by KWS will allow for all animals to be traced, provide potential vital information on poaching and smuggling chains, boosting the ability of police to prosecute poachers or traffickers.

The World Wildlife Fund donated the chips as well as five scanners at a cost of $15,000.

"Investigators will be able to link any poaching case to a recovered or confiscated horn, and this forms crucial evidence in court, contributing towards the prosecution's ability to push for sentencing of a suspected rhino criminal," KWS said in a statement.

The highly demanded rhino horns are made of keratin, and offer poachers a lucrative raw material.

The lucrative Asian black market for rhino horn has driven a boom in poaching across Africa.

Asian consumers believe the horns have powerful healing properties.

Consequently, poaching has risen sharply in Africa in recent years, with rhinos not the only animals targeted.

Whole elephant herds have been massacred for their ivory.



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