A new way to save rhinos – level 3

09-06-2021 07:00

Researchers in South Africa are working on a potentially new method to deter rhino poachers and smugglers.

James Larkin, one of the project’s main researchers, said that he hoped to establish a reduction in poaching. He said that researchers wanted to do it by injecting a small quantity of radioactive isotope into the horns of rhinos.

This method will have two effects. Firstly, it’ll devalue the rhino horn in the eyes of end users who’re going to be less likely to want to own something radioactive. Secondly, making the horn radioactive will make it a lot easier to track it when smugglers move it across international borders as there are about 11,000 radiation monitors at various ports, airports, and border crossings.

Rhino horns can be worth tens of thousands of dollars per kilo, and demand is mainly in Asia where some people believe that rhino horns have medicinal properties, and they act as a symbol of wealth.

Difficult words: deter (to make someone not want to do something or not continue doing it), isotope (an atom that is different from other atoms), devalue (to reduce the worth or importance of something).

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