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Zoo put on rhino theft alert
8:00am Thursday 2nd February 2012 in News
A HAMPSHIRE wildlife park has been put on alert over the safety of its rhinos.
Marwell Wildlife has been warned their rhinos may be in danger from poachers because of the value of their horns in the Asian medicine market.
Horns are now worth more than £25,000 per kg after a rumour broke out that they could cure cancer.
The National Wildlife Crime Unit has alerted all 15 zoos and wildlife parks in the country that hold rhinos to tighten security and report any suspicious behaviour.
Marwell curator of mammals John Pullen said the park had security measures in place to combat any threats.
He said: “We have security measures here including people living on site and we have alarms set throughout the night that alert mobile phones instantly if they go off.
“We also use webcams to protect the animals and we have our perimeter fence so we take security seriously but we are constantly thinking about how we can improve security in the park and protecting our rhinos comes into that.”
The Colden Common wildlife park has three white rhinos on site, a 28-year-old male Hannu and two 25-year-old females Kiri and Sula.
On average an adult white rhino horn weighs about 5kg meaning the Marwell horns are believed to be worth around £375,000 on the black market.
It comes just months after Marwell launched their ‘Help us Save Rhinos’ campaign, raising funds to help protect wild rhinos from poachers in Zimbabwe.