Dehorning – Why it’s Important

Our dehorning operation continued this month. Over two days we successfully dehorned another 26 rhinos at Care for Wild. Whilst Lilli and Spirit were both dehorned in June, Jemu only underwent her procedure now.

Dehorning operations are a necessary evil, another tool in the toolbox that help to keep the rhinos safe. These procedures require a highly trained and skilled team. Meticulous planning is essential for efficient execution. The whole procedure is complete within about 15 minutes of the immobilisation drugs taking effect. A blindfold and ear plugs are positioned to reduce stimulation. The horn is measured, marked and cut with a chainsaw before the sharp edges are

smoothed with a grinder. It is sometimes compared to trimming your fingernails! Whilst dehorning is not painful for the rhino, every immobilisation carries risks. We also take blood samples and run a full health check.

Jemu’s procedure went extremely well. The rest of her crash remained close by in the bushes and came to fetch her once she had woken up.

The Rhino Monitors made sure that Jemu found her crash again and kept a close eye on her for the rest of the day. Here are Spirit, Grey, Jemu and Lilli, a little bit safer after their dehorning.

Soon the rains will come and the barren, yellow veldt will turn a lush green. For now, we continue to feed supplementary teff and lucerne to support this group.