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Save the Rhino, See My Horn!

  • Andy Scott
  • 31 January 2011

The rhinoceros is critically endangered! Approximately 200 years ago, at the turn of the 19th century, there were an estimated one million rhinos. By 1970, the count was about 70,000. Today, there are fewer than 24,000 remaining in the wild. If there is no change in our appreciation of this magnificent animal – if we do not take action to stop poaching and support the protection of our rhinos – the five surviving species (white rhino, black rhino, Indian rhino, Sumatran rhino and Javan rhino) will become extinct in the wild in our lifetime.

The Greater one-horned Indian Rhino (rhinoceros unicornis)

The Greater one-horned Indian Rhino (rhinoceros unicornis)

Fortunately there are organisations like Save the Rhino and awareness-raising efforts like the one I am leading now working hard to draw the crisis to the attention of more people.

Deadly Myths

In Southeast and East Asia, superstitions about rhinoceros horn have people believing it to be a ‘remedy’ for various ailments, such as fever and pain. There is, however, no scientific evidence supporting this. Rhino horn has absolutely no medicinal effects on humans.

And yet cultural myths surrounding rhino horn persist and are why rhinos are slaughtered illegally. These deadly myths are why wild rhinoceros populations in Africa and Asia are at risk of extinction. The high and unrelenting demand for rhino horn has pushed its price to US$59,000 per kilogram, making it far more expensive than even gold.

Dwindling Numbers

2010 was a very bad year for poaching in South Africa, which is home to 90% of the world’s wild rhino population. Figures released by WWF (the world’s leading conservation organisation) that the number of rhinos shot dead in South Africa increased by 173% in 2010, a 15-year high across the continent. At a time when the rhinoceros is need of protection, South Africa is losing more than 20 per month. Conservationists warn that, at the present rate, the number of killings will outstrip new births.

It is not just the African rhinoceros populations that are suffering. Listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as critically endangered, the Sumatran Rhino faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future; it may not live to see the end of the next decade.

This mother and baby are southern white rhinos, which in the late 19th century, was considered extinct, are part of a very small population in the Umfolozi-Hluhluwe region in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.

This mother and baby are southern white rhinos, which in the late 19th century were considered extinct, are part of a very small population in the Umfolozi-Hluhluwe region in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. The northern white rhino sub-species is critically endangered; in mid-2006, only four were reported in the wild in Garamba National Park, DRC.

Big 4 Safaris in 2035?

Right now, a lucky few of us are able to travel to Africa and Asia to see rhinoceros in the wild. But in 2035, will our grown children and grandchildren still see wild rhinos? Will the Big Five have been reduced to a Big Four?

I am trying to make a difference and make people aware of the terrible plight of the world’s rhino population. The Facebook page – Save the Rhino, see my Horn is a great place to show your support. All I ask is that you please just spread the word and ask your friends and family to please ‘like’ this Facebook page. By showing your support, the more people we can get on board, the more pressure we can put on governments to do all they can to STOP this. To stop it today, before it is too late.

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adventure travel, Africa, animal conservation, Asia, Eastern Asia, Indonesia, national parks, opinion, responsible travel, safaris, South Africa, South-Eastern Asia, Southern Africa, Vietnam,

11 Responses to “Save the Rhino, See My Horn!”

  1. As far as I know, Javan rhino is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, with only 60 left in the wild and none in captivity. And every single Javan rhino lives within the confines of the Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia, making the species even more vulnerable to extinction.
    So, let’s get involve to save them..
    Greeting from Indonesia

  2. Toner Cartridges says:

    I love rhinos so much. I really hate those people killing them for their horns!

  3. Consultant ERP says:

    I really like your post a lot.

  4. Corian Worktops says:

    It’s really nice spending time on your blog.

  5. Thank you very much for publishing this interesting article about our lovely Javan Rhino on your cool blog.
    I used to live for many years near Ujungkulon, run my own little lodge and at the same time I worked as a tour guide. I am proud to be the first and the only tour guide of Ujungkulon who organized the Javan Rhino observation tour that is (technically) supported by WWF Ujungkulon and the National Park authority.
    If anyone need some information on Javan Rhino conservation program in Ujungkulon, please contact WWF Ujungkulon or the Headquarter of Ujungkulon National Park.

  6. Andy Scott says:

    Hello Hodilu,

    Many thanks for your feedback.

    In response to your observation of the picture published of the Javan Rhino. Well spotted, you are correct in identifying the image as the Greater one-horned Indian Rhino. My mistake. – Andy

    [Editor’s note: As a result of this exchange, the photo caption has now been changed.]

  7. Hodilu says:

    The first picture does not show a Javan rhino but the Greater one-horned Indian Rhino (rhinoceros unicornis)

  8. Kamran says:

    What are the measures taken to pressurize Govts? Is there a way we could participate more actively in the fight? Very well written article btw.

    Regards

  9. Solicitors Slough says:

    Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your way of expressing the opinions and sharing the information.

  10. SEO Manchester says:

    I really enjoy your blog, congrats!

  11. Bonbons says:

    They are lovely animals. Too bad they are almost extinct!

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