Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!


Fighting Poachers By Making Rhino Horns Radioactive

Traditional forms of medicine attribute special powers to rhinoceros horns, which is why that animal is hunted by poachers. A rhino horn is worth a lot of money on the black market, so poachers are highly motivated to kill rhinoceroses and remove their horns.

The Rhisotope Project is an innovative effort by conservationists to right back. Scientists propose to inject radioactive isotopes inside the horns of living rhinoceroses, thus making the horns trackable if removed and smuggled. Hack A Day explains:

The radiation from these would not be enough to cause any harm to the animal. But smuggling the horn through illicit channels becomes immensely more difficult as the tell-tale radioactive signature would be hard to hide.
Presumably the radioisotope that would be picked would be a Gamma or Beta emitter, as these are significantly harder to block than Alpha (large helium atoms) radiation. This radiation would make the horn, and any shipping container it would be placed into, light up light a Christmas tree on any of the radiation detectors used at borders and ports around the world.

Photo: Rhisotope Project

Newest 3
Newest 3 Comments

For once, a monumentally stupid idea for a noble cause actually has some legitimization. WHITS is on board even if their other major partner, ROSATOM, is not. Searching their other partners' websites did not yield any mention as well. Would love to see the environmental impact assessment.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
No, no, no... They don't need to kind of radiation that lights up detectors. They need the kind that makes people sterile if they consume it. Once the Chinese figure out what's causing all of their wealthy businessmen to become impotent, they'll finally stop killing these animals.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"Fighting Poachers By Making Rhino Horns Radioactive"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More