The GPS tracking devices are fitted into the rhino’s horn by drilling a small hole in the inert or dead part of the horn. As well as GPS tracking, the devices are equipped with an alarm system to notify game wardens of unusual Rhino movement or location. According to Rusty Hustler, head of security for North West Parks Board,”There are a number of alarms that can be programmed: one for excessive movement, so if the rhino starts running, and another that goes off if the rhino sleeps for longer than six hours, which is abnormal.” He added that in the future, the devices could even help to track rhino horns that were taken by poachers to help combat the illegal trade.
One rhino is killed every 30 hours, the worst case scenario in the last two decades, according to the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). Over 200 Rhinos have been slaughtered in South Africa in 2010. The animals are brutally being killed by poachers killed because Rhino horns are sold on the black market for thousands of dollars. Rhino horns are considered valuable because they are considered a prized ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine. In some parts of Asia, the local population believes that it can cure cancer.
90% of the world’s Rhino population lives in South Africa. The remaining Rhino population is primarily in Vietnam and has been wiped out due to poaching. According to Wikipedia, the two African species of Rhinos are the White Rhinocerous and the Black Rhinocerous. In 2007, the wild Rhino population was an estimated 17,480 animals. If the poaching continues, the animals could end up extinct over the next decade.
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