The last few weeks haven’t been good for rhinos.
At the end of October 2011, the World Wildlife Fund declared the Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus) extinct in Vietnam. Then, within the span of only two weeks, another rhino subspecies disappeared: the western black rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes) of Africa.
The western black rhino was last seen in Cameroon in 2000, when it was thought that 10 individuals might have been left. All subsequent attempts to find them, however, have failed. As of now, Africa has three remaining subspecies of black rhino (Diceros bicornis). All are critically endangered—two of those subspecies are below 1,000 individuals each.
Africa’s white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) species include the southern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum simum; the healthiest rhino subspecies, with more than 17,000 animals) and the northern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni), which is now down to its last seven individuals.
All rhino species worldwide are heavily threatened by poaching. Their horns, which may fetch more than $30,000 each, are sought for use in traditional Asian medicines, even though they have no actual medicinal value.
But there is some good news. Watch the video below from the World Wildlife Fund. Nineteen critically endangered black rhinos were recently moved to a safer, more spacious location, where they will have a greater opportunity to increase in number and—let’s hope—stay farther away from poachers.
Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,
Recently I have thrown my lot in with the Palala Rhino Sanctuary, it is situated in a place that is very difficult to access. People may “store” their rhino here.
Still we need to make it even safer. Here is an update on my Rhino Wars.
Very sad to see a specie go extinct, I have traveled with my wife to photograph the black,white and Asian Rhino and only have Javan and Sumatran have escaped us, My wife has a love to rhino and her office is like a shrine to them with paintings and ornaments Lets hope that a pair will be found at some time and that the species will continue.
I hope that will be o.k in their new home!
Its a tragedy that this is what its come to. As a conservationist friend / former wildlife documentary film-maker and investigative journalist commented: “Radical times call for radical actions. Places of safety for our precious rhinos are shrinking fast, but this option looks absurd. Soap on a rope, yes, but Rhino on a rope? It’s not sustainable”….
Candice, thank you for the interesting article. It’s good to see in the video how many people are involved at relocating and conservation of rhino’s.
Agree, unfortunately, the remaining Rhino’s don’t have much time. I have little hope they will survive despite great efforts that are being made in some African countries in particular. The wholesale price in Zimbabwe that the poacher can sell one horn is $2,000, a fortune. By the time it gets to Asia it can sell for $50,000+. If the poacher gets caught it’s an automatic 20+ year prison term, but the dealers rarely get caught.
Agreed. Education in Asian countries probably would be more effective in the long run than anything else.
It will take Asia to stop buying Rhino horns and give up fake medical “science”.
The rhinos are under enormous pressure from poaching. It may take an extraordinary international effort to save those that remain.
That is encouraging. On my recent media tour of Zimbabwe we saw the skeletons of poached Rhinos killed for the “mythical medical” properties and smuggled to Asia. It was sickening. In the vast Matopo National Park only 29 Black and 27 White Rhino remain as of three weeks ago.
Candice~ Last week I posted an article on just this topic. It is very sad indeed when one of the most ancient of mammals that has survived for thousands of years is, just like the primeval forests and many other “old timers” on earth, threatened with extinction. What does that say about the inherent penchant for domination so prevalent in the human species???
Here are some other links to articles regarding the looming possibility of extinction of the black rhino.
Yes, I think we should limit the numbers of tourists that visit endangered species…whatever it takes to protect the amazing animals, like the black rhino! Thanks for this video. I love it when the rhino gets up by himself and stretches his legs!
hey any way we can increase the numbers of animals on the way out, all the better. Rod and I help with NOAA with reporting hawaiian monk seal sightings, when we are in Oahu. The monk seals are down to about 1500 and while some feel it is due to sharks, it is actually due to illegal gill netting. Thanks, Candice, for your helping wildlife and getting the word out! https://oceanartistssociety.org