The War Against Rhino Poachers
In the premiere episode of "Carter's W.A.R." – Rhino Wars – viewers were given a rare opportunity to see the heated battle between wildlife protectors and poachers
Highly-trained operatives protect existing rhino herds and help bring poachers to justice on a daily basis in Africa. (Photo courtesy of www.carterswar.com)
Rhino Wars: Inside the Episode
Ivan Carter starts his journey in the Zululand Rhino Reserve where he quickly becomes wrapped up in the intense happenings as wildlife manager Karen Holmes and wildlife veterinarian Mike Toft prepare to dart a rhino bull.
Rhinos are darted with a tranquilizer, allowing wildlife-reserve managers to collect valuable information about individual rhinos. As part of the data-collecting process, DNA samples are taken and tracking microchips are inserted into the horn of each rhino. All information collected is populated into a database for analysis and future research.
After successfully darting a bull rhino, collecting data, and then watching him re-unite with his mate, Carter heads to Kruger National Park.
Upon arrival, he learns of a suspected poaching incident where eight gun shots were heard the night before. Carter and his friend, section ranger Richard Sowry, begin an investigation and search the area for clues as to what might have happened.
The search yields their worst fears; they find the carcass of a baby rhino, killed by poachers for its small horn. Due to so many shots fired, Carter and Sowry suspect the baby rhino’s mother may have been wounded.
They begin to follow tracks of the mother rhino while Sowry’s men try to track down the poachers. Helicopters are mobilized and a full search ensues. The poachers, however, make it out of the park.
While trying to track down the mother of a poached baby rhino, Ivan Carter discovers remains of another rhino killed by poachers. (Photo courtesy of www.carterswar.com)
The episode concludes with locating the mother rhino. She is darted, checked for wounds and found to be unharmed, which is a success in an otherwise gruesome series of events.
Is this story real?
Yes, unfortunately it is. On the Zululand Rhino Reserve, a lot of work is put into managing and “chipping” the rhinos. In spite of intense protection efforts in 2015, the poaching continues.
The reality is, this same story plays out – multiple times -- somewhere in Africa every day.
For more information about the topic covered in this episode, please visit the “Carter’s W.A.R.” website.
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