Conservationists dye rhino horns red to deter poachers

Officials in South Africa are taking the grave situation of the vanishing rhino population into their own hands — infusing their horns with red dye and toxins to ensure that poachers can’t sell the valuable body parts.

More than 1,000 rhinos were killed last year and the Rhino Rescue Project has decided to do something radical about it, Barcroft Media reports.

The conservationists have begun tracking the endangered animals in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve from the air, tranquilizing them and then injecting their horns with a special concoction of red dye and special toxins.

The mixture renders the horn completely useless to those trying to sell it commercially — and also toxic for human consumption.

The rhino is kept cool and relaxed throughout the entire procedure and is safely set free once they are finished.

“I refuse to sit back and have to explain myself to the next generation when they ask me, ‘Well, what were you doing when rhinos weren’t extinct?'” said Lorinda Hern, who organized the initiative with veterinarian Dr. Charles van Niekerk.

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