Dehorned white rhinoceros

Dehorned white rhinoceros

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This image is part of the feature Dehorning the rhino

Credit: LOUISE MURRAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Dehorned white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), Umhlametsi Private Nature Reserve , South Africa. Protrack founder Vincent Barkas tends to a white rhinoceros that has just had its horns removed. Protrack are a private anti-poaching company. Horns are removed as an anti poaching measure. The rhinoceros is first tracked from the air and darted with a tranquiliser. The horn, which is made entirely from keratin protein, is removed with a chainsaw at ten centimetres above the base. Rhinoceros horns are used as ornaments and for some traditional medicines. Despite horn removal, rhinoceroses are still killed by poachers for the remaining horn stub or out of vengeance.

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