Botswana, once Africa’s safest haven for wildlife, is to dehorn its entire population of wild rhinoceroses in a desperate bid to spare them from slaughter by poachers.

The radical plan has been settled on by wildlife officials who fear that the species will soon be locally extinct for the third time in the country’s history if poaching trends continue. The contentious scheme was made public, apparently in error, in a radio interview by Philda Kereng, the environment minister.

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