Rhinoceros- Ngulia

    Rhinoceros are hunted and killed because of their horns. In some cultures, the horns of rhinos are believed to cure medical diseases but are also used as trophies. Powerful tools are needed in order to save the rhinos and technical advancement is part of the solution. Kolmården Foundation funds Project Ngulia and Kolmården Wildlife Park contributes as a research arena to develop new technical equipment, which will both help to save the rhinos in Kenya.

    Horns consists of keratin, the same protein that hair and nails, and if its cut it will regrow. In some cultures, the horns of rhinos are believed to cure medical diseases such as cancer which makes poaching of rhinos a widespread problem.

    Park rangers protect rhinos in the Ngulia Reserve

    In the Ngulia reserve in Tsavo West National Park in Kenya, rangers work to protect around 100 black rhinos living there. On the black market, a horn from a rhino is valued higher than gold and the rangers work therefor very risky. To protect rhinos from poachers, the rangers are in great need of safe methods and equipment.

    Project Ngulia protects rhinos by using smartphones

    In Project Ngulia several operators work together to provide the rangers with new and more efficient technical equipment and help save the rhinos. Among these are Kenya Wildlife Service, Linköping University and Kolmården Wildlife Park. Researchers at Linköping University are developing a modern, cost-efficient technical equipment tested at Kolmården Wildlife Park, with the help from our rhinos. The equipment includes for example smartphone apps, for more efficient reports and secure communication. Different types of sensor systems can hopefully give the rangers “super eyes” and “super ears” which can help to detect intruders in the reserve in a fast and efficient way. Energy efficient Bluetooth transmitters are being tested and placed in the horns of rhinos to make tracking easier.