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Kenya eyes new anti-poaching methods, including drones

A photo taken on November 7, 2013 shows officers from the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) attending to a sedated black Rhinoceros at the Nairobi national park during an excercise to implant microchips in an effort to stem poaching of the endangered mammal. Conservationists in Kenya are implanting microchips in the horns of the country's rhinos in its fight against increasingly sophisticated poachers. The KWS said it will use the chips along with DNA records to track the country's dwindling rhino population, which is thought to be around 1,000. It hopes the technology will protect living rhinos - and also provide evidence when it comes to bringing poachers to justice in court. 

The illegal poaching of animal parts like ivory tusks has soared in recent years in Africa, largely because of the demand from Asia. Kenya has been one of the biggest victims of poaching.

Thirty years ago, there used to be 167,000 elephants in Kenya.  Now, just over 30,000 remain. Meanwhile, an annual trade worth $19 billion continues: an elephant is killed in Africa an average of every 15 minutes. 

In this day and age, it’s an indictment on mankind. And the key to it all is not here – it lies in China,” says Daphne Sheldrick, an elephant conservationist and expert who runs an animal orphanage in Nairobi National Park.  “As long as there’s a demand for ivory, then elephants are going to be killed in Africa.”

Kenya is trying to fight back with new fines for poachers, and new anti-poaching technology like drones.

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