The Isuzu Rhino Dehorning Project

Now in its third year, this initiative has proved an effective deterrent against poaching with far reaching benefits for the critically endangered Rhino of the Lowveld.

The Isuzu Rhino Dehorning Project

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A real solution for a real problem

While much is being done to combat the scourge of Rhino poaching both on the frontlines, in local and broader communities and from an international standpoint, the killing has not ceased. Each year the numbers increase and so too does the need for immediate intervention. This is where dehorning comes in, providing an effective deterrent and buying time for anti-poaching rangers.

Since the Isuzu Dehorning Project began in 2014, only one Rhino has been poached on the Blue Canyon Conservancy. This result is a testament to the validity and importance of the project that, in partnership with Nkombe Rhino, has dehorned an invaluable number of animals.

While funding remains the biggest challenge to dehorning projects on private conservancies who, unlike National Parks, receive no funding from NGOs and government, public opinion is still a real concern. Many people consider dehorning a cruel and harmful procedure. Certainly, it is drastic and nobody wants to see a horn removed however, these operations are performed by highly trained professionals, they are painless and do not harm the animal in any way.

We're not just removing horns, we're saving lives.



Q. Is dehorning a REAL solution?

A. Dehorning is a proven deterrent against poaching for animals at extreme risk. It is effective when coupled with extensive anti-poaching security and monitoring efforts.

However, educating communities locally and abroad is still the most important long term solution. This is the goal of projects such as this one.

Q. Is Dehorning actually effective?

A. Dehorning is an effective deterrent when coupled with extensive anti-poaching security and monitoring efforts.

Q. Doesn’t the rhino need its horn for protection?

A. Without any natural predators, the horn is primarily used in confrontations with other Rhino. It helps with asserting dominance and maintaining social dynamics.

For this reason, it is important to dehorn all the Rhino on a conservancy, thereby removing the animal’s need to defend itself against other rhino.

If this is done, a rhino will not be seriously affected by the removal of its horn.

Q. Can anyone dehorn a rhino?

A. Definitely not!

In terms of the Threatened or Protected Species Regulations of 2007 (TOPS) drafted in terms of NEMBA no person may, without being in possession of a valid permit: hunt, capture, kill, convey, import, export, keep live rhino in captivity, or possess a rhino horn.

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