The video above this sentence is from a camera implant on a rhino in South Africa. It’s there to deter poachers by turning the endangered animals into their own surveillance system.
Conservationists from British non-profit Protect developed the system which uses GPS tagging, heart rate monitors and the aforementioned embedded cameras.
Rhinos are under constant threat from poachers who want to kill them for ivory. The Real-Time Anti-Poaching Device (RAPID) system can quickly alert their protectors to that danger and help them intervene.
RAPID detects when an animals heart rate drops and activates the camera implant, while a collar around the animal’s neck transmits GPS coordinates so anti-poaching forces can respond.
One hope is that the criminals targeting rhinos will start to avoid ones wearing the distinctive collar, knowing that they will be caught if they attempt to kill them.
The Verge has a good piece discussing the state of rhino conservation in Africa and how RAPID could help populations to recover and thrive.