So I was reading about how difficult it is to prevent poaching of elephants and rhinoceri/eruses. At best the wardens get to the kill just after the poachers have left. And for some reason I thought of tetracycline (a generally good antibiotic), which when given to young people discolors their teeth.
I put the two thoughts together and came up with, why don’t we discolor elephant tusks and rhino horns? It wouldn’t hurt the animals, and would make their tusks/horns much less valuable to poachers. If not tetracycline, there are other relatively innocuous chemicals that should do the trick. At worst, we could dye the tusks/horns with something that would seep far enough into it that it couldn’t be filed off.
So, why not?