A project to microchip every rhino in the Masai Mara Games Reserve in Kenya began on Friday, marking the start of the first program of its kind. Over the next four months, hundreds of animals will be sedated in order to insert microchips in their horns, which will deter poachers and give officials a way to trace horns they find back to poaching incidents. Business Standard reports:
The Kenya Rhino Microchip Programme runs along with the ear notching of unmarked or younger rhinos and is being implemented by the KWS and the Narok county government with the support of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Xinhua reported.
The microchip is less than two inches long and can barely be seen by poachers. In total, the chips will cost $17,647 to buy and $58,823 to implant, all funded by the World Wildlife Fund.
There are 1,030 rhinos living in Kenya, and the East African nation lost 21 rhinos to poaching since the beginning of 2013.