If a new camera-driven anti-poaching system works as well as hoped, rhinoceros poachers may soon find themselves caught in the act on video, the Independent reports.
The system has been dubbed "Rapid" -- Real-Time Anti-Poaching Intelligence Device -- and is driven by a camera embedded in the animal's horn (a painless procedure, according to this BBC News video showing the drilling in action).
Along with the spy camera, the rhino will be outfitted with a heart-rate monitor and a location tracker.
The Rapid system will alert authorities if the heart-rate monitor on the rhino is triggered by an attack. The tracking device will capture the location of the attack, to within a few meters.
Attack location in hand, rangers can quickly head to the scene via truck or helicopter and stop the poachers. The camera, meanwhile, will have collected visual evidence to use against them.
According to the Independent, the Rapid system was developed by Chester University's Dr. Paul O'Donoghue, a specialist who has worked extensively with endangered black rhinos.
"You can't outrun a helicopter," O'Donoghue told the Independent. "Rapid renders poaching a pointless exercise."
Officials hope to have the system up and running in trials in South Africa, where the vast majority of the world's remaining rhinoceroses live, early in 2017.
via The Independent