Black Rhino keeper- Linda Matthews
Today only five species of Rhino remain in the world. They are all under threat from poaching shrinking wildness which are the two biggest threats.
Poachers directly target their horns for traditional Asian and Middle Eastern medicine and also as trophy prizes in some cultures, whilst habitat destruction is seeing vast land areas being cleared for farming and housing.
Rhino horn is believed, by many, to be a ‘cure’ for many illnesses or conditions such as arthritis, fever and even cancer. New information has suggested young men are taking the powdered horn as a hang-over cure.
All this is false because rhino hornm is made of keratin, which makes up human hair, fingernails and toenails.
Everyone knows there’s no benefit from eating fingernails or toenails.
Population numbers now sit at approx: 20,000 White Rhinoceros; 5,000 Black Rhinoceros; 3,000 Greater One-horned Rhinoceros; around 200 Sumatran Rhinoceros; 37 Javan Rhinoceros. In Africa last year alone it was confirmed 668 Rhinos were killed, the majority in South Africa, compared to 2007 where there were just 13. If we don’t change our ways soon there will be no Rhinos found in the wild anywhere. Already by the end of April this year (2013) 241 rhinos have already been killed by poachers!
We have been working to help save Rhinos since the 1990s, with our breeding program for Black Rhino alone delivering 11 calves during this time and our scientists have already created the world’s first IVF Black Rhino embryo. We are also supporting the International Rhino Foundation in its efforts on the ground to protect all five remaining species of Rhino in the world.
What can you do to help the Rhinos? Learn more about their plight online and share the message, visit Zoos which have Rhinos in their care as you will be directly supporting the conservation of these animals simply by buying a ticket to the Zoo and most importantly when travelling abroad refuse the temptation to purchase Rhino horn items to help stop the illegal trade in Rhino horns.