Rhino’s are such beautiful animals, even if they are a little like ‘chubby’ (muscly) unicorns of the natural world. I was so lucky to have been able to seen a couple when me and my husband went to Safari in Lake Nakura, Kenya. They’re a very rare animal to see or get close to, so we felt so privileged. Carrying on with my safari animal series, let’s learn a little more about these beautiful animals.
5 species of rhino.
Did you know that there’s actual 5 different kinds of rhino? There’s the two I knew about, which is the white and black rhinos. These are both African and then there’s also 3 species of Asian Rhino. Greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan.
The black, Sumatran and Javan rhinos are all critically endangered, meaning their populations are truly under threat of complete extinction. To put this into numbers for you, there’s less than 70 Javan rhinos and less then 100 Sumatran rhinos left in the world. How sad is that?
The chubby unicorns of earth and they’re vegan!
Okay, I know this is a bit of a joke as they’re not chubby or unicorns at all but it’s still a little funny. Rhinos can vary depending on species from 95 stone to 550 stone, which is over 3 tonnes. Wowzas! You wouldn’t to give one of those a hug would you?
Also all 5 species of rhino are completely plant based. Who said vegans don’t get enough protein?
Of course, rhinos are most well known for their horns. These horns are made up of keratin, which is the same protein that is the base of both our hair and nails. The greater one-horned and Javan rhino’s both have 1 horn and the other species all have two.
Like a humans hair and nails, their horns continuously grow during their life and this can be up to 7cm a year. The longest horn ever recorded was 150cm, that’s almost as tall as me!!
They need to go to specsavers.
Rhino’s don’t have the best eyesight unfortunately. They’re extremely short sighted, only being able to see around 30m in front of them. Due to this, they strongly rely on their sense of smell to sense what could be coming or where fresh food is!
They have their own language.
Like many animals of the world, they have their own way of communicating with one another. They tend to make a lot of noises from growls, trumpet calls and even snorts and screams to help show their emotions to others.
Weirdly, they can also help communicate via their poo and urine, mcuh like a dog. They leave their scent so other rhinos or animals are aware they’re in the near distance.
Down and dirty.
You often see rhinos on nature shows rolling around in the mud. This is as it keeps them nice and cool in the heat, as well as prevents them from being bitten by insects!
Asian rhinos are brilliant swimmers and often use this to their advantage to cross rivers. Their African relatives however aren’t good at this at all and will stick to shallower waters when on their travels.
They’re under threat.
In the last 10 years, over 7000 rhinos have been killed by poachers. That’s around 2 a day! Many poachers want their horns, it’s not only a symbol of wealth but can also be used in many different Asian medicines.
In Vietnam, the horn has been brought to light as a hangover cure and treatment for many terminal illnesses. For this reason, there’s many illegal poaching gangs doing their best to get them as the payment for these is high.
I feel so lucky to have seen a rhino in the wild and was told that a way to stop poaching is that many have been safely tranquillised and then been fitted with a sensory collar. This collar allows scientists and the government to be warned when someone is nearby, meaning they can try and get to the source before the poaching begins.
For more information on how you can help save the rhinos, please look into the following sources;
Love, always – B
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