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Could Safely Removing This Rhino’s Horn Save Its Life?

Rhinoceroses are constantly under threat of being poached for their horns. If poachers get to them, they are killed, their horn is cut off, and the rest is left behind. But what if you take away what poachers value most? Conservationists in South Africa have turned to dehorning as a preemptive measure that, unfortunately, removes what most characterizes a rhino. It's a heartbreaking intervention: Once a rhino is located, it's sedated and stabilized before the horn is removed with a chain saw. Conservationists are aware that dehorning is not an ideal solution, yet it doesn't seem to affect the rhinos and might be what saves their species. Watch the full process in this public awareness short film by Black Bean Productions in collaboration with Wildlands and Empowers Africa.

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. To submit a film for consideration, please email The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.