Wednesday, September 18, 2013
by Corinna of TheFrogBag
Photos courtesy of The International Rhino Foundation
Happy World Rhino Day!
World Rhino Day happens every September 22, but this year is something special.
With the tagline “5 Rhino Species Forever” the aim is to draw attention to the fact that rhinos are under siege everywhere they live, but with public support we can keep them around for a lot longer.
Sound easy? It’s not.
A subspecies of black rhinoceros was recently declared extinct. Javan rhinos are among the rarest animals in the world, numbering no more than 50 individuals. Sumatran rhinos aren’t far behind, with only about 200 individuals surviving today. That’s less than the number of people it takes to fill up a commercial airplane.
What’s a concerned citizen to do? Well, the organizers of World Rhino Day believe that getting the word out is a good place to start. Many people have no idea that rhinos have it so tough. So go ahead, pepper your conversation with some rhino facts this weekend.
Here are five to get you started:
ONE: Rhino horn is made of keratin, the same basic stuff that makes up human hair and fingernails. The idea that there could be anything medicinally valuable in it is bunk. If rhino horn could cure fevers, gout, rheumatism, snakebite, or any of the host of other things it’s prescribed for in Traditional Chinese Medicine, boiling up a pot of fingernail clippings would work just as well. And yet poaching to supply this market remains one of the biggest threats all five species of rhino face.
TWO: Rhinos have walked the earth for about 50 million years. Of course, many species were much woolier during the last ice age.
THREE: Rhino mothers are quite devoted to their young and sometimes stay with them until they are three years old.
FOUR: A lot of people think of rhinos, hippos, and elephants as belonging to the same general group, but in reality the rhinoceros is much more closely related to horses, tapirs, and zebras.
FIVE: A group of rhinos is called a “crash.”
So don’t forget to wish everyone you meet...
a happy World Rhino Day on September 22!
Posted by Brizel Handcrafts on Wednesday, September 18, 2013