Our Partners & Collaborators

DCM Surfaces

Loskop Dam Nature Reserve

African Wildlife Vets

Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA)

Friends of Wildlife Management

Dehorning of Loskop Dam’s Entire Rhino Population

In a display of conservation commitment and efficiency, we partnered with DCM Surfaces, MTPA and African Wildlife Vets to successfully dehorn the entire population of rhinos in Loskop Dam in just three days. This operation, a part of the larger rewilding project at Loskop, was a critical step in protecting these rhinos from the ever-present threat of poaching.

DCM Surfaces: A Key Partner in Conservation

DCM Surfaces, renowned for its supporting bespoke surfacing solutions across the UK, played a pivotal role in this operation, funding the several days of helicopter use essential for the operation, whilst also being on the ground to help with the operation.

The Dehorning Process

The dehorning of each rhino is a complex and sensitive procedure, requiring precision and care. 

Here’s an overview of the process:

  • Location and Tracking: The team used helicopters to locate each rhino. A cross marked on the rhinos’ backs ensured no animal was darted twice.
  • Immobilization: A wildlife veterinarian administered a carefully calculated dose of tranquilizer via dart gun, considering each rhino’s size and health.
  • Safety Measures: Once immobilized, the rhino’s eyes were covered, and earplugs were inserted to minimize stress. Vital signs were continuously monitored.
  • Dehorning: A chainsaw or similar tool was used to remove the horn, a painless process as the horn is made of keratin, like human nails.
  • Post-Procedure Care: The horn stub was treated with antiseptic, and a reversal agent was administered to wake the rhino from sedation.
  • Monitoring: Post-procedure, each rhino was closely observed to ensure a smooth recovery.

The Cost and Impact of Dehorning

Each dehorning operation costs between $600 and $1,000, covering everything from helicopter use to veterinary care. With rhino horns growing back at a rate of 3 to 4 inches per year, these procedures must be repeated every 12 to 24 months.

The Bigger Picture: Rewilding Loskop Dam Nature Reserve

This dehorning operation is part of the larger initiative to rewild the Loskop Dam Nature Reserve. WeWild Africa, in partnership with the local government, is working to reintroduce the Big Five, improve infrastructure, and expand the reserve up to 100,000 hectares. This ambitious project aims to restore the reserve’s historically occurring biodiversity and make it one of Southern Africa’s largest and most beautiful reserves.

To learn more about the Loskop Dam Nature Reserve rewilding project and how you can contribute, visit our project page.

Once again, thank you to the wonderful team at DCM surfaces for your continued support. WeWild Africa looks forward to seeing you in the field again soon!


How You Can Help

The work carried out by WeWild Africa is only possible with the support of individual donors like yourself. You can join us and help us to rescue wildlife, rewild animals, and restore landscapes. 


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