• Tshukudu Game Lodge

Preserving our Rhinos

At Tshukudu Game Lodge, conservation is our number one priority, and it is crucial for us to implement measures to safeguard the future of our rhinos. As we are fighting a never-ending battle against poachers, we have no other choice but to put more drastic measures in place. With poaching being our biggest battle in preserving these beautiful animals, we at Tshukudu Game Reserve will continue with de-horning our rhinos. It is vital for the public to understand this conservation approach, and to assist us by continuing to spread awareness about saving the rhinos as a species.

The de-horning process is run by a group of professionals who take every precautionary measure to make sure that the operation runs smoothly. A rhino will be identified for de-horning and will then be darted by the veterinarian. Once tranquilised, the animal is blindfolded and earplugs are put into the rhinos ears to assist in minimising the stress to the animal. Throughout the procedure, the animal’s safety is always our primary concern.

A chainsaw is used to remove the horn above the growth point. Excess horn will then also be removed and shaped into a convex. All of this happens in a short amount of time, in order to keep the animals’ down time as brief as possible. Vital signs such as breathing and the heart rate of the animal are closely monitored during sedation by the veterinarian. Removing the horn is like cutting your fingernails, and the rhino experiences no pain whatsoever.

The sedation is then reversed and the rhino is able to continue with life as normal. Our hope is that after the de-horning process, these rhino will not become part of the staggering rhino poaching statistics. Although rhinos’ occasionally use their horns for protection, dehorning has little impact on the mothers being able to protect their calves, and there are also no side effects to a dehorned rhino. A rhino horn is made from keratin, which, as we all know is what the fingernails or hair of a human is made of. This means that a rhino horn will grow back eventually.

Although we are not oblivious to the fact that the removal of a rhino horn will not eradicate poaching completely, we will endeavour to minimise the risk of having them slaughtered, and to safeguard our rhinos in any way possible.

Should you wish to get involved in sponsorships, or the conservation efforts at Tshukudu Game Lodge, email us on accounts@tshukudulodge.co.za for more information.

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