Rhino Dies During Anti-Poaching Demonstration

A few months ago, we wrote about Ed Hern, the owner of the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve near Johannesburg, South Africa, who had proposed poisoning rhino horns as a new idea to help save rhinos. The thinking behind the proposal was that by injecting an anti-tick parasiticide into rhinos’ horns, they could make the horns toxic for humans (thereby eliminating the demand for them), while simultaneously benefiting the health and well-being of the rhinos.

Now, TheSouthAfrican.com reports that an anti-poaching demonstration at the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve, intended to illustrate how the critically endangered animals should be protected, ended in tragedy.

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Spencer, a 22-year-old rhino, was tranquilized so that dye could be put into his horn and deters future poachers from making him a target. Sadly, Spencer could not be revived; he was the 11th rhino to be treated by the facility and the first to ever die from it.

Lorinda Hern, spokeswoman for the reserve, was saddened by the event, but didn’t let it distract her from the true problem at hand, “It’s sad for us; it’s the loss of another animal. It’s a death I still chalk up to poaching. Every time you dart a rhino, you take a risk that the rhino might not wake up and unfortunately today was one of those days.”

Let’s mourn Spencer and not lose sight of all the other innocent animals that poaching has taken from us.

Image Source: QUOI Media/Flickr