London : Animal rights campaigners in South Africa accidentally killed a rhino while using it during a demonstration to raise public awareness about the threat to the endangered species from poachers.
The anti-poaching activists had invited journalists to watch the rhino in a South Africa reserve being sedated Friday so that vets could treat its horn with dye and insecticide as well as insert tracking and identification devices, the Daily Mail reported.
But the entire event turned a disastrous turn as campaigners couldn't revive the male rhino, in his mid to late 20s, once the procedure was completed.
"It's sad for us; it's the loss of another animal. It's a death that I still chalk up to poaching," said Lorinda Hern, spokeswoman for the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve.
A total 20 rhinos had undergone the procedure at the reserve and this was the first time a rhino died, she added.
The private reserve near the South African capital Pretoria had commenced treating horns to make them unattractive to poachers after losing a pregnant rhino and her calf to poachers in 2010.