The black rhino horn has long been seen as a highly prized item for both illegal poachers and traders, as well as a weapon to ward off predators. Concerned with the increasing demand for a rhino’s horn, conservationists in South Africa took the initiative to remove their horns – and found a remarkable discovery. When veterinarians removed one rhino’s horn to protect it from poachers, they were stunned to discover a perfect heart carved on the base of its colossal horn! One young boy is shown below, displaying the rhino’s horn which had been removed in a legal de-horning process.
This extraordinarily rare finding exhibits a brilliantly dark black love heart right in the center of a milky beige animal horn. The magnificent rhino was part of a legal de-horning programme initiated by Dr William Fowlds.
The rhino de-horning process took place at the Kragga Kamma Game Park loacted in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The aim is to protect rhinos from poachers by removing the horn, with the hope that hunters will be deterred by the lack of financial incentive to kill them.
A 56-year-old photographer Luc Hosten snapped multiple incredible pictures of the rhino’s horn and de-horning process. Rhino poaching is rife in South Africa, so much so there were even rumors spreading around that the game park was going to be invaded by greedy poachers during the event.
Tight surveillance and security were implemented so that poachers would stay away. The process was professionally done by staff working at Kragga Kamma along with a team of vets. Rhino horns were removed using battery-powered tools and a chainsaw while the rhino itself remains monitored throughout the entire process.
Watch the process in the video below!
“It is sad that we have to de-horn rhinos to protect what we love from unscrupulous poachers. We love our rhinos, but to save them we have to maim them,” says Luc Hosten. The de-horning event was a great success. All the rhinos in the park were successfully treated, and became active straight afterwards with no injuries sustained.
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