With its thick gray skin and the horn clearly visible on its muzzle, almost every child in the world should be able to recognize this magnificent creature – the rhino. However, it is critically endangered in the wild and is on the verge of extinction if nothing is done to save this species. As a result, World Rhino Day is celebrated on September 22. It aims to raise awareness about rhinos and conserve what remains of these wonderful creatures.
Every year on September 22, the world honors the five rhino species. The five rhino species are the black, the white, the great unicorn, the sumatra, and the javan. Humans’ desire for the unique rhino horns has brought the world’s five rhino species to the brink of extinction. Horns are in great demand because of their therapeutic qualities.
The IUCN lists the one-horned rhino, also known as the Indian rhino, as a vulnerable species. The animal is mainly found in the foothills of the Himalayas – India and Nepal.
History of World Rhino Day
By the early 1990s, the African rhino problem, especially the black rhino disaster in Zimbabwe, became well known and people started to worry.
By 2010, it was clear that the potentially dangerous fate of the rhino was still unknown to many around the world. In response to the worsening situation, World Wildlife Fund-South Africa declared World Rhino Day in 2010.
The day became a worldwide success just a year later. In 2011, a lady called Lisa Jane Campbell sent an email inviting another rhino enthusiast, Rhishja, to see the world’s five rhino species survive and be there for generations to come. World Rhino Day became a worldwide sensation, thanks to these two wonderful women, and was a huge success.
Since then, every year, NGOs, zoos, concerned people and wildlife groups from around the world have come together to mark World Rhino Day.
Importance of the day
Rhinos were once widespread throughout Eurasia and Africa. Around 500,000 rhinos roamed the world at the start of the 20th century. The rhinos of Java and Sumatra are very threatened in Asia. There are only 58 to 68 Java rhinos left on the planet.
A Java rhino subspecies was declared extinct in 2011. Today, only 80 Sumatran rhinos remain. The black rhino is also on the brink of extinction. White rhinos are the most numerous of the five rhino species, with around 20,000 in the wild.
The largest one-horned rhino, sometimes known as the Indian rhino, is on the rise in India as a result of conservation initiatives. There are currently around 3,500 of these rhinos. They are nevertheless considered sensitive. So while the rhino numbers in India are doing well, there is undoubtedly more to be saved.
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