The Kenya Wildlife Service has announced that it will place microchips in the horn of every rhino in the country to curb poaching as poachers become more sophisticated.
Speaking to AFP, Paul Udoto, spokesman for the Kenya Wildlife Service said,”So it is vital that conservation efforts also follow and embrace the use of more sophisticated technology to counter the killing of wildlife.”
The chips and five scanners worth over $15,000 were donated by the World Wildlife Fund to help the authorities monitor animals and track down poachers in case the animal’s horn’s are recovered. The chips will also help police in vital evidence needed during prosecution.
Poachers kill rhino’s for their horns, believed to have medicinal powers and target elephants for their tusks for jewelery.
According to Richard Vigne, CEO of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, “Demand (primarily from China) has now reached such a high level that the price payable to the poacher for raw ivory is reported to be as high as KShs 20,000 per kilogram – or KShs 400,000 for a 20kg tusk. The KWS and other law enforcement agencies are trying their best to contain the situation but are being overwhelmed.”