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World News June 27, 2024

South African researchers pilot nuclear technology to tackle rhino poaching

South African researchers have initiated the Rhisotope Project, inserting low doses of radioisotopes into the horns of 20 live rhinoceros to combat poaching. This six-month study, led by James Larkin from the University of the Witwatersrand’s Radiation and Health Physics Unit, aims to leverage nuclear technology to make rhino horns detectable by radiation monitors at international borders. Starting on June 24, the team carefully sedated the rhinos and inserted non-toxic radioisotopes into their horns. The rhinos will be monitored closely to ensure their health and safety. If successful, the project could be expanded to other endangered species like elephants and pangolins. This innovative approach seeks to devalue rhino horns on the black market and enhance detection and prosecution of smuggling. Lynn Morris, deputy vice-chancellor of research and innovation at the university, emphasized the project’s potential to protect wildlife from extinction.

Source: CGTN

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