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Collecting DNA

Below is an example of the steps required to correctly sample the DNA of an animal in the field. While this animal is under sedation, the same steps can be used for harvested or captured game.

Taking DNA Step 01

Step 01

After the Rhino was completely sedated, our team moved in quickly. We took a blood sample from a vein in the ear. The blood was then applied to the FTA card.

Taking DNA Step 02

Step 02

Using a q-tip, the blood is evenly spread across the FTA card.

Taking DNA Step 03

Step 03

For this particular rhino, we micro chipped its horn and neck hump; the dark spot on the rhino's neck is where one of the microchips was implanted. Microchips have been implemented by game ranchers to help fight against rhino poaching and to help identify animals/animal parts if and when poaching occurs.

Taking DNA Step 04

Step 04

A successful DNA sample taken from a living rhino in about 1 minute.

Taking DNA Step 05

Step 05

Getting a 2nd source of DNA from an animal is important for reference. The tail hairs are the easiest to access and generally produce excellent DNA samples.

Taking DNA Step 06

Step 06

I use pliers to remove 20+ tail hairs from the rhino, and will store them in the yellow coin envelope.

Taking DNA Step 07

Step 07

The white tips on those hairs represent the hair follicles, which hold the animal's DNA. Once in the coin envelope they will dry, and stay preserved for future DNA sampling.

Taking DNA Step 08

Step 08

The process for taking a tail hair sample is less than a minute.