Rhinos at the Zziwa sanctuary are being microchipped as a measure to fight poaching and the ongoing illegal trade of expensive rhino horns. The Uganda Wildlife Authority in cooperation with the Rhino Fund Uganda and Kenya Wildlife service have been carrying out the exercise for the past few days using well trained specialists who implant a small grain like chip into the horns and skin of the rhinos after complete anesthesia.
These micro chips will help to nab poachers and illegal traders much fast as they can track, scan and easily identified to offer concrete proof to higher authorities during investigations and conviction of the smugglers. Ear notches have also been put on the rhinos which didn’t have as well as changing the old ones on the rhinos that already been tagged, this will improve visual identification and ease herd management at the sanctuary.
DNA sample of the rhinos have also been collected from their blood, hair and horns and will be sent a South African wildlife laboratory to be included in the huge database of African rhino DNA. This strategy will assist officials to match the smuggled rhino part with the one of the database to act as further evidence that it was obtained illegally.
During the recently concluded World Wildlife Day celebrations, the theme was “Get Serious About Wildlife Crime” and so this move can be seen as step forward and good news for tourism in Uganda and conservation efforts all over the world.