Kenya Will Outfit Rhinos With Microchips In Attempt To Curb Poaching

Kenyan rhinos are about to get a high-tech upgrade.

As part of an ongoing effort to curb poaching, authorities in Kenya plan to outfit every rhino in the country with a trackable microchip. In an announcement Wednesday, government officials revealed that the implanted tech would allow authorities to better prosecute poachers.

"Poachers are getting more sophisticated in their approach," Kenya Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Udoto told the Agence France-Presse. "So it is vital that conservation efforts also follow and embrace the use of more sophisticated technology to counter the killing of wildlife."

By embedding a tiny microchip into rhino horns, the Kenya Wildlife Service will be able to not only track and recover poached horns, but also connect the evidence to suspected poachers in court.

International conservation organization World Wildlife Fund has already offered to provide more than 1,000 microchips and five scanners to help Kenya get its rhino monitoring system up and running.

Several countries throughout Africa have seen a drastic rise in rhino poaching in recent years. In South Africa, for example, nearly 700 rhinos have fallen into the hands of poachers so far this year, according to a recent government report.

Since poaching has become more prevalent, authorities have sought to increase punishments for offenders and devise creative ways to combat poaching practices -- from using drones to injecting poison into rhino horns.

Recently, the Tanzanian Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism went so far as to suggest poachers should be shot on the spot.



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