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Professional game catcher and conservationist Les Carlisle describes his decades-long battle to save the rhino from extinction at the hands of poachers with one simple but frightening word: war.
Just hours before taking Daily Mail Australia out to electronically tag a rhino and remove its horn in South Africa's Phinda game reserve, he doesn't mince words about how dire and violent the fight to save the species has become.
'Farmers - Rifles - Jackets - Head - Torch
'Farmers are getting rifles out of their safe and putting on flak jackets with a head torch and going out to protect their rhinos,' he said.
'Wives don't know if their husbands are going to come back. It's war.'
Efforts - Carlisle - Others - Battle - Animals
Despite the best efforts of Carlisle and others like him, it's a battle the animals are losing - and losing badly. Since 2008 more than 7,000 rhinos have been killed for their horn in South Africa alone at the rate of two deaths per day.
There are now only about 5,000 of them left.
Animals - Gun - Rhinos - Extreme - Value
Other African animals are also under the gun, but rhinos are suffering in the extreme due to the sky-high value of their horn, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine and sells for $130,000 per kilogram.
That incredible value is why he's on a mission to de-horn as many rhinos as possible, as quickly as possible - and it can be very dangerous work.
Rhinos - Pain - Horns - Procedure - Animal
Rhinos feel no pain when their horns are removed but the procedure can still kill the animal if it isn't done properly.
The six-tonne beasts are immobilised by using a dart rifle to deliver a powerful drug that makes them lose control of their muscles but not lose consciousness.
'We - Helicopter - Animal - Ability - Dam
'We use a helicopter to guide them because once the animal's darted, as it gets more drugged it loses the ability to control where it's going and if it runs into a dam, it's...
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