layer, especially on the periphery is usually uneventful
(Figure 2 and 6). Damaging the core could lead to
cavitation and horn growth abnormalities (Figure 3).
Figure 2: A) The initial square cut on this rhino was just to low,
thus mildly damaging the central the chainsaw germinal layer.
Further trimming with the chainsaw also caused mild damage
to the peripheral germinal layer at the skin-horn junction. Mild
damage like this is unlikely to cause long term complications,
although it is best to avoid this where possible. B) The use of a steel
grinding disc helps to cauterize the areas that bleed profusely.
Figure 1: White rhino cow several weeks after being dehorned
by the conventional square cut method. Normal wear on the
horn edges are visible. This method leaves to much horn behind,
making it worthwhile for the poachers to kill these rhino.
Figure 3: A) White rhino cow with horn fissure resulting from central
cavitation. This rhino was dehorned 2 years prior using a reciprocating
saw. B) All the excess horn was removed to open up the infected area.
Far better to lower the risk of poaching is the Kock
and Morkel method.* Short video demonstrating
this method: https://www.youtube.com/
Not only is direct damage to the germinal layer a risk,
but cutting to close to the germinal layer, especially
with a blunt (thus over-heated) blade could lead to
heat necrosis (Figure 4).
Effective dehorning involves removing as much of the
horn as possible, only leaving a thin layer of horn to
cover the germinal layer. The technique is performed
using a chainsaw to make