With poaching becoming a real issue, in the Czech Republic a zoo is having to take evasive action to save the lives of its 21 rhinos. The horns of all 21 rhinos resident in the zoo are being cut off for the rhinos own protection. The horn is of high medicinal and financial value in the far east so poachers are a danger to rhinos in the wild and Zoos now. The horn is made out of keratin which is the same material as our hair and nails and according to scientists of no medicinal value at all. The rewards are enormous as they sell them on to practitioners in Chinese medicine for example.

Dvur Kralove Zoo

The action at the Czech zoo happened because of what happened at a zoo in Paris when a rhino was killed by poachers. The removal causes no pain and the rhinos can live their lives as they would do with it. Zoos were once seen as havens for endangered species it would appear this is not the case anymore.

Zoos and safari parks especially where there are endangered species will have to beef up their security which is sad. Zoos are the last bastions for endangered species like rhinos and the fact they are no longer safe in these establishments is a sad reflection of our troubled world.

Poaching in zoos: A new phenomenon?

Sadly yes this does appear to be a new phenomenon and the culture of zoos will have to change.

Will zoos now become like airports where security understandably is paramount? This may seem like an extreme suggestion but this is what we could expect when we visit our zoos. It would be for the protection of visitors, staff and most importantly the animals.

Let's face it there are good zoos and bad zoos and some question the purpose of zoos.

However, the good zoos like Chester zoo in England do a sterling job in breeding and protecting their stock of endangered species. If you wish to catch up with the staff and animals at Chester zoo you can tune in on Tuesday night on Channel 4 at 8pm. Poaching in zoos once unheard of is something zoos and safari parks will have to deal with in the future.