On Thursday, 31st of October, the students of African Dream Horse Safari had the opportunity to watch how the rhinos of a local Nature Reserve went through the process of being de-horned.
The de-horning is a precaution that should lower the numbers of rhinos being killed because of their valuable horns.
The team tracked the rhinos with a helicopter and the vet darted them from the air. After a few minutes, the tranquilizers made an impact and the rhino started to go down.
The ground team lay in wait nearby, waiting for the right moment to act. From then on, they had to work very quickly and the men needed all their muscles to move the rhino into the desired position.
They measured the horn and marked the exact point where the chainsaw should cut the horn. The de-horning itself took only a few seconds; the horn is made up of Keratine, the same stuff as our fingernails and so the chainsaw cut through easily!
Afterwards, we had to go back to our cars immediately and wait until this beautiful animal woke up. After a few wobbly steps, the rhinos all moved off into the distance; hardly affected by the process at all!
It was amazing to see how everything was running so smoothly!
We really hope that thanks to those men we can save lives of many rhinos and spare tremendous suffering!
Written by Lorena Lutz (Switzerland)