Namibia Launches Anti-Poaching Campaign to Protect Black Rhino

In an effort to curb the poaching of rhinos, the Namibian government has reinstated an anti-poaching campaign for the endangered black rhino. Roughly one-fourth of the global black rhino population resides in Namibia. So far, the country has lost 14 black rhinos within this past year. The horn of these animals remains prized within Southeast Asian markets because of the belief in the horn’s medicinal properties. Valued at such a high price, the rhino horn is regarded as a valuable commodity, which in turn continues to spur poaching activities in the area.

The Namibian government aims to deter poaching activities through a two-fold campaign effort. The first step involves the personal removal of the horn from individual rhinos. Such measures were taken in the 1990s to deter the poaching of rhinos with much success. However, the question remains whether such a practice will ultimately halt poaching in Namibia. Poor removal procedures can leave horn stubs on individual rhinos. In turn, these individual rhinos are still targets due to the high value placed on black rhino horn stubs. The second step of the campaign –a 300-person anti-poaching task force – will attempt to physically mitigate continued poaching activities.

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