When rhinos are dehorned by their owners, their owners are left with a dehorned rhino that does not have horns. Consequently, owners sometimes consider dehorning the rhinos a failed experiment. Keeping the rhinos without horns is usually not an option, because the rhinos are attacked by other rhinos, which may injure them or cause them to miscarry. In addition, the loss of horns may affect the way rhinos behave, including their contact with each other and their mothers. Dehorning also removes a natural resource of rhinos. A single rhino may have an estimated value of several thousand dollars.
Some rhinos have dehorned themselves without the knowledge of their owners. For example, a captive rhino in the Rossinero Zoological Garden in Italy had its horn removed without the owner's knowledge; the rhino turned out to be pregnant when the dehorning was conducted. When the horns grew back, a rhino started to defend its territory in the enclosure and started to display aggressive behaviour towards other rhinos.
The threat of poaching and loss of natural resources mean that dehorning is recommended by many organisations in order to decrease the chances of the rhinos being killed by poachers. The lack of availability of ivory from dehorned rhinos may affect the price of ivory on the market, reducing the incentive for poaching.
Dehorning rhinos may be an efficient anti-poaching technique. However, it is not a perfect solution, and many more research and conservation programmes are required to better understand the social and evolutionary significance of horns in rhinos.
In any case, dehorning does not fully solve the poaching crisis. For example, poachers may be attracted to rhino populations that are less visible. Where rhinos are killed for their horns, they may be killed in a remote location, which makes the poaching more difficult to detect and less likely to be reported. In addition, rhinos on reserves and other protected areas are often moved away from poachers, so that dehorning alone would not prevent poaching.
In the case of the Indiana teen, prosecutors are seeking to define the relationship as a criminal sex offense. If the teen believed the girl was over age, it is not a legal sex offense. There is a state law that does allow for a legal relationship with a person under age 16 if he or she is over age 18 and is not a registered sex offender. This law is rarely invoked by prosecutors. 827ec27edc