South African Farmer Wants Drones to Protect Rhinos

Purchase approved by U.S. government

Ryan O'Hanlon

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After a record year for rhino poaching, a South African farmer has a solution for the future: drones. The U.S. government has granted permission to Clive Vivier, cofounder of the Zululand rhino reserve in the KwaZulu-Natal province, to purchase its Acrturus T-20 drone. “It can tell whether a man is carrying a shovel or firearm and whether he has his finger on the trigger or not,” said Vivier. “We can see the poacher but he can’t see us. We’re good at arresting them when we know where they are. Otherwise it’s a needle in a haystack.” Over 650 rhinos have been slaughtered for their horns in 2012, and Vivier believes that, in total, it would cost $9 million to keep all the drones (he wants 30) in the air for two years. He hopes to have a six-month trial period approved by local civil aviation officials.

Via The Guardian

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