How Technology Could Solve Africa's Poaching Epidemic and Save the Rhino

How Technology Could Solve Africa's Poaching Epidemic and Save the Rhino

Following a tragic poaching incident in August, Kenya has announced plans to microchip their 1000+ rhino population in order to fight against ivory-seeking poachers. The chips will be implanted into the rhino's horns, the most valuable part, especially for the poachers who are trying to meet a rising medicinal demand in Asia. This endeavor, supported by the World Wildlife Fund, has cost $15,300 for the materials (the microchips plus five scanners), and will require more funds in order to track down, subdue, and implant the animals.

While the costs and efforts required for this plan might become a little heavy, they will ultimately be worth it. Since 2007, rhino deaths have risen by 3000%, and no that is not a typo. A drastic change in approaching this problem needs to happen. By investing in new technology, Kenya is making a huge and logical step in tackling its poaching problem. Along with being able to closely monitor the rhino's current locations, these microchips will make all the horns traceable. Therefore, any transaction made with them will be able to be monitored and used as evidence for prosecution. So while not foolproof, this kind of technology can lead to much more efficient and timely arrests that will could potentially bring down the climbing rate of rhino deaths.

Sadly, while Kenya is certainly taking appropriate action against poaching, the slaughtering of animals for their ivory is not unique to the country. As other African countries such as Zimbabwe are struggling with their own poaching problems, perhaps Kenya's project can lead as an example of the investments necessary to bring this issue to a successful conclusion.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Nancy Chung

I am currently a student at Emory University, majoring in English. In my free time I enjoy reading, gaming, and collecting spoons.

MORE FROM

New White House communications director Scaramucci says press briefings should be on-camera

If the new White House communications director gets his way, the press briefings could soon be recorded once again.

At least 8 dead, 30 injured in locked tractor trailer outside Walmart in Texas

Authorities told press that the deaths were caused by "a human trafficking crime."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.

New White House communications director Scaramucci says press briefings should be on-camera

If the new White House communications director gets his way, the press briefings could soon be recorded once again.

At least 8 dead, 30 injured in locked tractor trailer outside Walmart in Texas

Authorities told press that the deaths were caused by "a human trafficking crime."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.