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Over 2 000 Rhinos dehorned since 2014 to curb poaching

Over 2 000 Rhinos dehorned since 2014 to curb poaching

Zorena Jantze

THE Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism received approval from the cabinet in 2014 to dehorn the country’s Rhinos, aiming to protect them from poachers. To date, the ministry has successfully dehorned over 2,000 Rhinos across the country.

According to the environment ministry, Namibia is home to an estimated population of over 3,000 Rhino species, which are classified as endangered.

The ministry emphasizes that no harm is caused to the animals during the dehorning process. The horns are cut at a distance from the growth point, ensuring no damage or pain is inflicted. It takes approximately four to five years for a Rhino’s horn to regrow after dehorning.

Environment Minister Pohamba Shifeta explained that Namibia still faces challenges in finding legal avenues to sell Ivory tasks and dehorned Rhino horns safely. Namibia, along with other countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), has been unsuccessful in persuading the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to legalize the trade of elephant ivory and Rhino horns.

“The idea is to dehorn and store them in the bank until we have the opportunity, in cooperation with the international community, to find a buyer. This will add value to our Rhinos and their products. Currently, these products only have value in the hands of criminals. Even private owners of white Rhinos cannot sell their horns, while poachers sell them for millions. We are currently seeking a legal means of selling them,” Shifeta said.

The minister further said that currently, a single horn is valued at approximately USD 120,000 on the black market.

“After CITES, we have resolved to utilize our natural resources, including Rhino horns and Ivory from Elephant tasks,” Shifeta added.

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