Violent but bloodless, dehorning is considered a necessary evil by anti-poaching campaigners in South Africa

Armed with a dart gun in a helicopter hovering above Somkhanda game reserve in South Africa, the vet Dr Mike Toft has just shot a powerful cocktail of drugs into the massive white rhino below.

The 2,000kg (315st) bull starts to stagger and sinks slowly to its knees as the drugs take effect. Though immobilised, the rhino is conscious. So, once it has been moved into the right position by a team on the ground, foam earmuffs and a blindfold are placed on its head to reduce stress levels.

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