With the dehorning of rhinos becoming more and more the way to prevent the poaching of horns across Africa, it seems logical to look at what the dehorning does to the rhinos. Are there any effects of the procedure, in the aftermath or on the longer term in their behaviour? Yet there was no such research recorded yet. We at Limpopo-Lipadi are very excited to have the unique opportunity to participate in the first research of a South-African researcher, who has a non-invasive way to research the impact of dehorning on the behaviour and the level of stress, both in the short and in the longer term.
Shortly before and in the weeks after the dehorning took place, she collected faecal and scat samples of each rhino to test them for their cortisol-level (stress hormones). The behaviour and interaction amongst the rhinos are also observed. She will come back in a couple of months to test and observe again.
The results can hopefully give us some answers on how the rhinos respond to the procedure of being dehorned and what we can learn from that. We will keep you posted on the results.