Zimbabwe has started removing the horns of its entire rhino population to deter poaching, authorities recently said.
The de-horning process of more than 1 000 animals is being done by veterinarians from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, according to its spokesperson Tinashe Farawo, citing a Bloomberg report.
They will be cut off after the rhinos have been anaesthetised, and typically grow back within a year.
Zimbabwe is home to the world’s fourth-largest black rhino population after South Africa, Namibia and Kenya.
According to the International Rhino Foundation, organised gangs of poachers slaughtered nearly one-quarter of the country’s rhinos between 2007 and 2009, and poaching remains the greatest threat today driven primarily by demand from Asian markets.
Zimbabwe’s Lowveld region is now home to nearly 90% of the country’s rhino population.
In August, a Malawian court sentenced 26-year-old Robert Katsabola to eight years and six months in prison after it found him guilty of possessing a rhino horn, according to the Maravi Post.
Katsabola was arrested on April 27 this year in the Ntaja district.
His arrest followed an undercover mission by Liwonde National Park rangers.
In Malawi, being found in possession of a rhino horn or any other protected wildlife specimen is an offence that contravenes Section 113 of the Wildlife life Act.