The British conservation group Protect is taking rhino poaching by the horns…literally. Its new Real-time Anti Poaching Intelligence Device (RAPID) includes a GPS collar, a heart-rate monitor, and a video camera embedded in the animal's horn. The moment a rhino becomes stressed (or is poached), the heart-rate monitor sends an alarm to a control center. Operators can then confirm the attack by turning on the camera and send rangers to the GPS coordinates immediately to catch the poachers before they can take what they came for.
By making the response so, well, rapid, the group hopes to eliminate the lag time that has plagued anti-poaching efforts across vast landscapes. The group isn’t wasting any time getting RAPID up and running, either. The device is currently in field trials with the critically endangered black rhino population in South Africa, and a fully functional control center is expected early next year. And for you tigers and elephants out there—don’t worry, Protect is working on getting gear for you guys, too.
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