Up Close and Personal with Rhinos
Oct. 27, 2016
In various regions of South Africa, scientists are seeking out more information about rhinos. This includes their travel patterns, DNA samplings and vital health information.
Enter: Rhino darting. Otherwise known as “green hunting.”
Just as the name implies, rhino darting is the act of temporarily disabling a rhino. This allows scientists to collect information, insert a tracking chip and mark them.
The information the scientists and conservationist collect is critical to maintaining a stable and healthy population of rhinos. The marking, or notching, is used as a way to track which rhino is the region and help deter poachers.
The intensity of rhino darting is high. Imagine: you’re riding in a vehicle or helicopter and you get uncomfortably close to them – within 100 feet or so – and shoot them with a muscle relaxant.
The nerves will most certainly be pumping blood faster than ever.
Once the rhino is down, a blindfold is put over them to keep them calm while information is recorded and the rhino is notched. This process involves cutting a unique number into the ear of the rhino. Notching doesn’t hurt the rhino in any way with scientists claiming it feels comparable to the sting of getting an ear pierced.
Following the notching process, an antidote is then given to the rhino to get them back to their normal state. By the time they’re awake and alert, everyone will have put plenty of distance between them.
In this rare opportunity, you can follow along with the scientists as you track down, sedate and study these magnificent animals. This would allow you to get really close to these animals, sometimes even touching them, as the procedures are taking place.
To put it lightly, this is a heart-pounding, high-adrenaline event that is not for the faint of heart or for those who are squeamish. If you’re looking for that exhilarating adventure and you’re okay with a little blood, then this is something you won’t want to miss.
Other Interesting Reads