DNA Horn Database

Following recent threats to Port Lympne and Howletts wildlife parks’ resident rhinos and attempts to steal rhino horn from educational establishments and museum exhibits; a DNA database of all horn samples held in the UK is being set up.

The National Wildlife Crime Unit is sending sample pots and special drill bits to any centre known to hold rhino horn in a bid to stop the illegal trade here in the UK.

Stealing the horn from collections in the UK, even from live animals held in zoos (many have sought advice to heighten security of their rhino enclosures as well as their education departments) holds less risk as thieves may be chased but will not be shot at.

As part of the Government funded scheme, zoos will be asked to take blood samples from their rhino’s to add to the database.