Namibia dehorns 2,500 rhinos at N$60m cost

May 24, 2023 428

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) has dehorned approximately 2,500 rhinos nationally and spent over N$60 million in a decade in the exercise aimed at curbing poaching.

According to the ministry, it costs about U$1,500 (N$28,500 at the current exchange rate) to dehorn one rhino.

"This is a very expensive exercise, but irrespective of the cost, it's very important to do it to protect the rhinos. Without the horns they're of no value anymore to poachers," Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta said after demonstrating the dehorning process of 20 rhinos on Wednesday.

"Dehorning is also done to minimise poaching, and also avoid fatalities as rhinos are territorial hence engage in fighting more often which leads to death," he added.

Shifeta says it costs about N$4 million to sell one rhino horn.

The Minister told The Brief that Namibia is still hopeful of selling its stockpile of rhino horns and Ivory, despite the resistance and restrictions from the international world such as CITES.

“We can't destroy the ivory or horns. These are of value and we have policies which state that we need to benefit from natural resources as we continue to preserve them. Therefore, one day, we hope we shall be able to sell and generate some income that will then be used to invest in the protection and preservation of these wild animals. With such an amount of money, we will be able to dehorn about 4,000 Rhinos per year, to protect them better and eradicate poaching,” argued Shifeta.

"We are standing by our decision that our natural resources will not be destroyed, as we look forward to one day reaching consensus and selling them, so we generate income that is valuable in the protection of wildlife," he added.

The horns are stored at the Ministry's bunker to protect the much sought after commodity on the black market from falling into the wrong hands.

The front horns are cut up to eight centimetres and the back one at eight centimetres, a safe length that avoids harming or injuring the endangered species.

It takes five years for the horns to fully regrow.


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Last modified on Thursday, 25 May 2023 16:12