Wildlife Park deems danger to animals from poachers to be really intense, with black market rhino horn selling for more than gold or cocaine.
A Czech zoo has said it will use a chainsaw to get rid of the horns from its mass of unusual rhinos after a vicious outbreak last week in a French zoo where poachers shot dead a white rhino and chopped off its horns.
It’s for the sake of rhino protection, Andrea Jirousova, spokeswoman for the zoo in the central Czech town of Dvur Kralove nad Labem, said.
The outbreak (in France) put us on vigilant, the risk is really extreme, she said, but failed to disclose when the surgical procedure would take place.
On 7 March, the zoo in Thoiry near Paris said unknown trespassers had smashed security blockades and slayed a male rhino of the critically endangered southern white subspecies for its horns.
The Dvur Kralove zoo currently has a group of 21 black and southern white rhinos, including three calves who will not go through surgery.
Black market rhino horn retails for up to $60,000 (56,400) per kilo more than gold or cocaine with most requests from China and Vietnam where it is sought-after as a old-fashioned remedy and aphrodisiac.
Jirousova said vets would put the rhinos under anesthesia before getting rid of their horns with a chainsaw and shaving the sharp ends.
We have never done this because of thieves. We did it for other motives like transportation or well-being worries, she added.
Dvur Kralove is the world’s only zoo to have prospered in the confined breeding of the particularly unusual northern white rhino.
In 2009, it placed three northern white rhinos, one male and two females in the Ol Pejeta reserve in Kenya.They are the last fighters of this subspecies, but they are not adept of breeding.
The zoo said Tuesday experts would try to eliminate ova from the two females at Ol Pejeta this year to protect the subspecies by means of in-vitro insemination and embryo transmission to surrogate mothers.
The northern white rhinoceros has been virtually eliminated by hunting and poaching for their horns, and by confrontations in Africa, according to the World Wildlife Foundation.