Black Rhinos given horn implants

September 2020
Black rhinos tagged for security

With thanks to our generous donors, we were able to support an important security operation of a key population of black rhinos in a reserve north of Johannesburg, in connection with the WWF Black Rhino Expansion Project (BREP).The aim of the project was to replace their GPS tracking foot collars which were about to expire. Instead of usuing a foot collar this time however, a tracking implant in the horn would be used. This is because the foot collars can be are problematic (can cause irritation, the leg then swells and the collar becomes too tight- to the point that it can snap the bone if not monitored correctly.) The implant is a UHF/VHF which is a telemetry implant that allows the anti poaching unit to follow with an antenna and receiver to monitor movements, locations etc. This is preferred over GPS that uploads into a server because of the security issue of not knowing who has access to the positions of all the rhinos on the reserve.

With thanks to our donors, we were able to donate 3 horn implants for this project.

The procedure 

The rhino’s were darted by helicopter with Etorphine (10,000x stronger than morphine). It typically takes 4.5-5 mins before the rhino goes down/ sedated by the dart. In the case of the one male we worked on, he took 15 minutes! Once down, the helicopter landed and we on the ground team moved in. Any thorn trees/ debris were moved and the vet checks that the rhino is in a safe lying position/ legs not caught under the body. Oxygen is administered through the nose for the duration of the time the rhino is down. 

It’s quite a procedure then to drill a substantial hole (About 2 inches) in the side of the front horn and then another hole is drilled from the top of the horn to make way for the aerial of the tracking device. Once the holes are drilled, the tracking device is placed in the horn and the hole filled with a putty that dries hard like cement. Gaffa tape is put around the tip of the horn and the main hole just to allow the putty to be kept in place while it is drying fully. 

At the same time, a microchip (tiny) is put into both the front and back horn for identification purposes; blood draw and measurements taken for records. 

The whole procedure per rhino took about 30-45 mins. Once everything was finished, they were given an anti-dote and a lot of space (!) because black rhinos wake up angry!! Each rhino was monitored from afar to make sure all was well.

More updates

Buffalo calf saved from building wire

July 2022
Another intervention on Balule - this time to desnare a buffalo calf
Read More

Black Rhino Dehorning on Balule Nature Reserve

July 2022
Six black rhino dehorned in follow-up operation
Read More

Sabi Sands Rhino Dehorning

May 2022
Dehorning of 57 rhino on Mala Mala and Sabie Game Reserve
Read More

Two young elephant bulls saved

March 2022
Two elephant saved in one weekend
Read More

Years-old snare removed from elephant foot

March 2022
Badly embedded snare successfully cut out
Read More

Pangolin caught in electric fence

March 2022
Pangolin successfully relocated to rehabilitation centre
Read More

Live elephant collaring for research

February 2022
Our most eventful live collaring yet!
Read More

NVG anti-poaching heli operation

January 2022
Rapid response prevents poaching incident
Read More

Young male lion relocated to protected area

January 2022
Successful prevention of human-wildlife conflict
Read More

Heli time donated to help free Giraffe from snare

December 2021
Giraffe bull treated for leg snare
Read More

Heli hours donated to de-snare elephant

December 2021
Elephant in mine spotted with snare
Read More

Wild Dog collared in Mozambique

December 2021
Supporting the Wild Dog Range Expansion Project
Read More

Ele calf darted for suspected snare on foot

November 2021
Young elephant spotted with snare wound
Read More

Waterberg Wild Dog Collaring

October 2021
In support of the Wild Dog Range Expansion Program
Read More

Hyena saved, 2 wild dogs perish

October 2021
Terrible snare line catches 3: Hyena saved
Read More

Hyena neck snare removed

October 2021
Nasty neck snare removed to save hyena
Read More

Rhino's dehorned at Care for Wild

September 2021
Assistance to cover veterinary costs to dehorn rhinos
Read More

Leopard saved from snare

September 2021
Leopardess rescued from snare, rehabilitated and released back into the wild
Read More

Maputo Special Reserve Ele Collaring

August 2021
Preventing human-wildlife conflict
Read More

Elephant Collared in Limpopo National Park, MZ

August 2021
Establishing Elephant Corridors
Read More

Hyena de-snared in Mala Mala

September 2021
Hyena freed some snare & treated
Read More

Virtual Elephant Collaring

August 2021
Elephant collared live on camera!
Read More

Selati rhino dehorning operation

August 2021
Veterinary and Helicopter costs sponsored
Read More

Lioness de-snared on Djuma

August 2021
Snare removed from Lioness's neck
Read More

NVG Heli Patrol Hours Donated

August 2021
Putting eyes in the sky to protect rhinos
Read More

Helicopter funding for Elephant Operation

July 2021
Young elephant snare removal
Read More

Helicopter deployed for problem elephant

July 2021
A human-wildlife conflcit issue
Read More

Full moon helicopter patrol

July 2021
Supporting anti poaching
Read More

Rhino calf treated for suspected gunshot

June 2021
Rhino calf darted to treat deep neck wound
Read More

Elephant calf snare removal

June 2021
Elephant calf treated for severe leg snare
Read More

Elephant saved from tyre

May 2021
Car tyre removed from Elephant Bulls leg
Read More

Bees, Trees and Elephants

April 2021
Beehive donated to save iconic trees from elephants
Read More

SPCA funding for Cape Town fires

April 2021
Funding provided to support SPCA efforts to save wildlife affected by the Cape Town fire
Read More

Elephant bull collared for research

March 2021
Dex the Elephant collared with Elephants Alive
Read More

Helicopter hours sponsored to catch poachers

February 2021
Rhino poachers apprehended thanks to rapid response
Read More

K9 Texas hounds vet fees sponsored

January 2021
Supporting K9 anti poaching
Read More

Ground Hornbill nest installed

December 2020
Artifical nest installed to increase G.Hornbill population
Read More

Wild Dog collared to monitor pack

November 2020
Wild dog collared to save pack from persecution
Read More

Zebra foal snare removal

November 2020
Wire snare cut from Zebra's neck
Read More

Two Hyena's saved from snares

October 2020
Wire snares cut from 2 different Hyenas
Read More

Elephant calf released from Snare

October 2020
Wire snare removed from elephant calf's neck
Read More

Horrific snare removed from Hyena

September 2020
Hyena free'd from snare and branch
Read More

Rhino's darted and moved to safety

August 2020
Veterinary costs sponsored to move Rhinos
Read More

Wild Dog GPS tracking collar sponsored

July 2020
Pack collared to investigate plummeting numbers
Read More

Sponsorship of veterinary equipment

June 2020
RRF sponsors canvas stretchers for veterinary operations
Read More

Honey as a natural anti-biotic

May 2020
Wild Wonderful World partner with Elephants Alive
Read More

Cheetah metapopulation project

April 2020
Safaris and travel may have stopped but important conservation work continues!
Read More

Wild Dog GPS Collar sponsored

March 2020
Wild Dog GPS collar sponsored for EWT research
Read More

Preventing human-wild dog conflict

Feb 2020
A 48 hour effort to dart a pack of 5 wild dogs on surrounding farmland.
Read More