Hexbyte Glen Cove Rhino drowns at Dutch zoo in mating mishap thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Rhino drowns at Dutch zoo in mating mishap

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The southern white rhino is listed as ‘near threatened’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

A female rhinoceros drowned at a zoo in the Netherlands after a first date with a new male went tragically wrong, the zoo said on Friday.

Elena was “startled” on Thursday by the arrival of a white rhino named Limpopo at the Wildlands zoo in the eastern city of Emmen near the German border.

After a chase the exhausted female slipped into a waterhole, at which point zookeepers lured the bull rhino away from her.

“Unfortunately, this help came too late for Elena and she had already drowned,” the zoo said in a statement.

The 19-year-old Limpopo had arrived at the park in early September from another Dutch zoo where he sired three offspring as part of a European breeding programme.

The male and the Wildlands zoo’s two female , sisters Elena and Zahra, started getting to know each other by smelling and seeing each other in separate pens.

The “most exciting” part, the zoo said, was planned for Thursday morning, before visitors arrived, when Limpopo was allowed into the area where the females were grazing.

“From that moment on it became restless: both women were startled by the male and instead of putting him in his place together, they both ran off,” it said.

“As a result, Limpopo gave chase. He seemed particularly focused on Elena, because she was the closest to him.”

Both animals appeared exhausted after 15 minutes, and Elena slipped into a shallow pool of water, landed on her side and was unable to get up, the zoo said.

Caretakers were unable to stop her drowning.

Limpopo’s past problems

Stunned zoo vet Job Stumpel paid tribute to the “beautiful, sweet, stable and calm” Elena

“You want to jump over there and lift her head above water but you couldn’t. Rhinos are not only very dangerous, but they also weigh almost 2,000 kilos (4,409 pounds),” he told AD newspaper.

“We raced to it with a shovel and chased the male away with it, so we could get to the female, but it was too late.”

The zoo said such an introduction “often requires intervention, but never before has one been fatal”.

Limpopo had been moved from a German zoo six years ago because he “didn’t treat the female there properly”, the Brabants Dagblad newspaper said.

In his most recent home, the Beekse Bergen safari park near Tilburg in the southern Netherlands, he was a “proven breeder” living with a herd of six females.

The is listed as “near threatened” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, with 10,080 animals in existence.

Rhinos are killed for their horns, highly prized across Asia for traditional and medicinal purposes.

But breeding them is difficult, as a female only gives birth to a calf once every three to four years, after a 16-month pregnancy, the zoo said.



© 2021 AFP

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Rhino drowns at Dutch zoo in mating mishap (2021, September 17)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Radioactive rhino horns may deter poachers in S.Africa thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Radioactive rhino horns may deter poachers in S.Africa

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Rhinos in Africa are slaughtered for their horns which are smuggled into Asia.

South African scientists are studying ways to inject radioactive material into rhino horns to make them easier to detect at border posts, a move to discourage poaching, a researcher said on Friday.

Poachers killed at least 249 in South Africa during the first six months of the year—83 more than in the first half of 2020.

The animals are slaughtered for their horns, which are smuggled into Asia where they are highly prized for traditional and .

Injecting with a small amount of radioactive material might deter poachers by making smuggling easier to detect, said James Larkin, a nuclear researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand.

More than 11,000 are installed at ports and airports around the world, he told a webinar hosted by the World Nuclear Association.

Border agents often have handheld radiation detectors that could also detect the contraband, he added.

“We can radically increase the army of people who are capable of intercepting these horns… to push back against the smugglers,” Larkin explained.

Two rhinos have already been injected with a non-radioactive isotope to ensure the material will not travel into their bodies or cause health problems for the animals or humans.

Computer modelling will then help determine what dose is appropriate for rhinos. A model rhino head will be built with a 3D printer to test the doses before the trial moves to real rhinos.

The programme, called The Rhisotope Project, has backing from Russia’s state-owned nuclear company Rosatom, as well as researchers in the United States and Australia.



© 2021 AFP

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Radioactive rhino horns may deter poachers in S.Africa (2021, September 11)
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from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-radioactive-rhino-horns-deter-poachers.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Rhino population in Nepal grows in conservation boost thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Rhino population in Nepal grows in conservation boost

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Thousands of one-horned rhinos once roamed the southern plains

Nepal’s population of endangered one-horned rhinoceros has grown by more than a hundred over the past six years, officials said, with campaigners hailing the increase as a conservation “milestone”.

The population rose to 752 across four in the southern plains, up from 645 in 2015, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation said Saturday.

“The increase of rhinos is exciting news for us,” the department’s information officer, Haribhadra Acharya, told AFP on Sunday.

“But we have challenges ahead to expand the habitat areas of this animal to maintain the growth.”

Thousands of one-horned rhinos once roamed the southern plains, but rampant poaching and human encroachment on their habitat reduced their numbers to around 100 in Nepal in the 1960s.

Since 1994, the Himalayan nation has conducted a rhino census once every five years, as authorities stepped up their efforts to boost for the species listed as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation for Nature.

In the first census in 1994, 466 rhinos were counted.

Some 250 personnel—including enumerators, soldiers and veterinarians—rode on 57 elephants for nearly three weeks from late March to count the rhinos.

The census—delayed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic—was carried out using GPS equipment, binoculars and cameras.

“Rhinos were counted through a direct observation method, where the counting team reached as close as 100 metres (330 feet) from the wild animal,” Acharya added.

During the census, an elephant mahout was attacked and killed by a tiger, authorities said. Another official was injured when a wild elephant attacked the team.

Global conservation group the World Wildlife Fund—which provides financial and technical assistance for the census—called the population increase a “milestone” for Nepal.

“The overall growth in population size is indicative of ongoing protection and habitat management efforts by protected area authorities despite challenging contexts these past years,” the WWF’s Nepal representative, Ghana Gurung, said in a statement.

The rhino has climbed in recent years amid the government’s anti-poaching and conservation initiatives.

But the illegal trade of rhino horns—prized in China and Southeast Asia for their supposed medicinal properties—remains a threat.

Some 26 died in Nepal last year, including four from poaching, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation said.



© 2021 AFP

Citation:
Rhino population in Nepal grows in conservation boost (2021, April 11)
retrieved 11 April 2021
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