In Tanzania, a team of veterinarians are on a covert mission to protect the black rhinoceros from poaching.
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The operation begins in the air, sedating the animal with a tranquilizer dart sent by helicopter. Once the ground team moves in safely, their first objective is to make sure the creature is stable before carefully drilling a hole into the back of its horn. This area of a rhinos’ horn is comprised of dead cells, which means the animal will not feel any pain during the procedure. A radio transmitter is then inserted into the opening, and dental acrylic and paint are used to conceal the device so it matches the rest of the horn. After the operation is complete, this newly-installed beacon will send a signal with the animal’s location back to the team every minute. In addition to monitoring the rhinos’ movements, the team can also track down any poachers with a tagged horn in their possession.
In this exciting film by Pursuit Aviation, watch the action unfold as the Friedkin Conservation Fund teams up with Tanzania National Parks, TAWA, and the Frankfurt Zoological Society to place beacons in 23 rhinos.
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See What It Takes to Hide a Secret Tracker in a Rhino Horn | Short Film Showcase