South African Rhino Reserve Poisons Horns to Halt Poaching

The Rhino & Lion Reserve, a privately-owned park north of Johannesburg, said it is conducting tests to inject poison and an indelible dye into the horns of living rhinos to combat poaching.

“Testing is ongoing and comprehensive to ensure that the animals are in no way harmed,” it said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. While harmless to rhinos the poison causes nausea, vomiting and convulsions in humans.

Poachers in South Africa have killed at least 279 rhinos this year to meet demand for the horns in east Asia where they are used for supposed medicinal properties, the country’s environmental affairs ministry said on Aug. 29. The country is home to 93 percent of the continent’s rhino population.

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