As one of the Big Five, rhinoceros are an integral part to the African safari experience, and spotting them in the wild is considered a highlight for many travelers. Unfortunately, rhino populations have dwindled over the years due to poaching and habitat loss. Of the five species of rhino, two are found in Africa—the white and the black rhino. The other three species, including the critically endangered Javan and Sumatran rhino, are found across Asia. These gentle giants are often hunted for keratin, which is found in their horns. This substance is used in many traditional medicines for a variety of treatments.
While some of these subspecies are considered extinct or functionally extinct, there has been some conservation success for rhinoceros. Conservation efforts have helped populations of the southern white rhinos, mostly found in South Africa, grow to around 20,000. The greater one-horned rhino is also recovering thanks to conservation efforts in Asia, as population numbers have significantly increased in recent years. The best way to help rhinos, though, is to improve awareness and education surrounding poaching, hunting and the illegal wildlife trade.
Learn more about rhinoceros by taking our quiz to celebrate World Rhino Day!