A series of "flawless" test flights have shown that unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, combined with anti-poaching computer software can successfully protect rhinoceros from poachers in the SouthAfrican bush.
The first night flight of the UAV, nicknamed "Terrapin One", took place on May 26 at the Olifant West section of the Balule GameReserve near Krueger National Park. The team used its analytical model to locate a rhino and its calf in just a few minutes. Flying around the rhinos in a grid pattern, the UAV spotted a suspicious car close by and the team alerted the authorities immediately.
"We believe this is the first time that a UAV has been flown at night, with an infrared camera, where rhinos were identified from the air and a possible poaching event was successfully deterred," Snitch said. "As we say at the University of Maryland, 'Fear the Turtle.' "