Technology key to fighting rhino poaching
By MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE strategies employed by law enforcers to curb violent crime in South Africa, particularly closed circuit television (CCTV) technology, could well prove to be the panacea to the rampant problem of rhino poaching in the country.
The renewed hope is thanks to a line of forward looking infrared (FLIR) handheld thermal cameras that video monitoring and optical viewing specialist, TeleEye, has unveiled.
These are said to be ideally-suited to the rigours of combatting rhino poaching, a problem that saw a staggering 1 215 rhinos killed last year.
A rhino is killed every eight hours in South Africa alone, according to Savetherhino.org” said Philip Smerkovitz, Managing Director of TeleEye South Africa.
TeleEye SA has many years experience securing people, assets and installations, such as the Google-backed Jasper solar power plant in the Karoo, Eskom substations throughout Gauteng and various mobile base stations for South Africa’s leading cellular providers, which puts it in a good position to contribute in the fight against poachers.
According to Smerkovitz TeleEye SA distributes and provides security solutions comprising a wide range of FLIR thermal imaging products, TeleEye optical surveillance products and Optex Detection devices.
FLIR’s wildlife range of heat-detecting cameras have been adapted by TeleEye SA into a powerful range of anti-poaching equipment, perfectly-suited to the harsh environment inhabited by our rhino,” explained Smerkovitz.
FLIR thermal imaging systems use state-of-the-art infrared imaging technologies that detect infrared radiation “ or heat “ enabling the user to see in total darkness as well as in all weather conditions.
“Militaries around the world have relied on FLIR Systemâ’s thermal imaging technology for years. The fight against rhino poaching has become militarised with automatic weapons in the hands of former soldiers on both sides. It’s now time to up our game and put another military weapon in the hands of the good guys,” said Smerkovitz.
He added that optical surveillance was the perfect tools for expedition leaders, wildlife management professionals and law enforcement officials.
Law enforcement officials concurred.
According to Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department, there have been no bank robberies, ATM or cash heists in the city center over the past five years due to the 400 CCTV cameras installed throughout the Johannesburg central business district.
We now need to bring the advantages of optical surveillance technologies to bear for the benefit of South Africa’s fast-disappearing rhino population,” said Smerkovitz.
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