Posted on 18th September 2018 by Media Relations
World Rhino Day - 22 September
All of the world’s rhino species are under threat; and yet we find that a large number of our zoo visitors don’t know there are actually five rhino species, found in both Africa and Asia. Did you?
The biggest threat to rhinos is horn poaching, mainly to provide powdered horn for traditional medicine in Asia. However rhino horn does not have any medicinal properties, it’s made of the same protein as fingernails or hair - keratin! There is currently an alarming rise in the number of rhinos 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, Sumatran Rhinoceros and Javan Rhinoceros, are also threatened by habitat destruction. Current population estimates are:
- White Rhinoceros – approx. 20,000 - 22,000
- Black Rhinoceros – approx. 5,000
- Greater One-horned Rhinoceros – approx. 3,000
- Sumatran Rhinoceros – Less than 80
- Javan Rhinoceros – less than 67 (yes 67, that’s not a typo…)
World Rhino Day is not just about parades with posters, rhino themed classes for school kids, and social fundraiser events. Sharing information, links, photos and stories just like this via social media is proving invaluable as a way of spreading the word and raising awareness for the plight of rhinos in the wild. By using social media as a conservation tool everyone who cares about saving rhinos, whether large organisations or individuals at home, can all help make an impact and get people talking about rhino conservation.
By Nerida Taylor