Kenyan officials announced Wednesday that the country will be taking a serious stand against rhinoceros poaching by implanting every rhino in the country with a trackable microchip. As poachers still run rampant throughout much of Africa, the Kenya Wildlife Service is turning to technology to protect the species. Authorities hope that the chips will not only enable them to track down poached horns, but also help prosecute poachers by gathering important evidence.
The tiny microchips will be implanted directly into each rhino’s horns. By implanting the chips into the horns rather than another part of the animals, authorities will be able to track them as they move through different points of the black market, potentially apprehending poachers, traders and buyers. To get Kenyan officials started, the World Wildlife Fund has already pledged to donate more than 1,000 microchips and five scanners.
The new tracking system is expected to help KWS crack down on poachers that are already in play. Poaching has spiked in recent years, with 700 rhinos already slaughtered for their horns this year alone. In order to prove they are taking this increase seriously, the Kenyan government has heightened the punishment for offending poachers, in addition to developing more sophisticated tracking programs like this one.
Via Huffington Post