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World Rhino Day 2013

By Rhino Keeper Katie Boyer

All of the world’s rhino species are under threat, mostly from poaching for their horn. The horn is mainly used for traditional Eastern medicine, however rhino horn does not have any medicinal properties. 

There is currently an alarming rise in the number of rhino being killed for their horn in Africa, affecting both the Black Rhinoceros and White Rhinoceros.  Meanwhile the three Asian rhino species, the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros, the Sumatran Rhinoceros and the Javan Rhinoceros, are also threatened by habitat destruction. 

Current population estimates are:

  • White Rhinoceros – approx. 20,000
  • Black Rhinoceros – approx. 5,000 
  • Greater One-horned Rhinoceros – approx. 3,000 
  • Sumatran Rhinoceros – Less than 100 
  • Javan Rhinoceros – approx. 40. (Yes 40, that’s not a typo…)

You can learn more about rhinos and how to help support these amazing creatures in their habitat, simply come along to Taronga Western Plains Zoo on World Rhino Day, Sunday 22 September 2013.  Over the weekend 21 and 22  September, visitors can discover more about the world’s five remaining rhino species, by attending special keeper talks at the Zoo.

Visitors can also help us raise vital funds for our conservation partner, the International Rhino Foundation (IRF). Donations raised over the weekend will assist with the IRF’s work in Africa and Asia, such as coordinating breeding programs, veterinary care and research in sanctuaries, and operating anti-poaching units, which patrol parks to protect rhinos against poachers.