A group of UK conservationists have begun using GPS tags, heart rate monitors and cameras on Rhinos to deter poachers.
The project is run by the not-for-profit group Protect which developed the Real-time Anti-Poaching Intelligence Device (RAPID) to try and protect the endangered species from being killed for their horns.
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The device, which is being tested in South Africa, monitors the heart rate of the Rhino in real-time.
If the heart rate elevates or drops it will trigger an alarm allowing a conservationist to use a horn-implanted camera to see what is happening to the animal.
A GPS collar allows the creature to be tracked to allow rescue to be sent to the animal if the footage shows it is under attack.
The collar also acts as a warning to poachers, who will be aware that they can be identified should they harm a Rhino wearing one.
Dr Paul O’Donoghue, chief scientific advisor for Protect explains that the combination of these capabilities means that whenever a Rhino is in the process of being poached, a helicopter can be deployed to prevent a poacher from taking the valuable horn or getting away.
“You can’t outrun a helicopter, the Protect RAPID renders poaching a pointless exercise.” He says.
Currently a Rhino is killed in Africa every six hours, and the hope is that these devices will prevent the animal from extinction.