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Rhinoceros

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White Rhinoceros mother and baby

The rhinoceros (commonly called rhino) is a large mammal. The rhinoceros is famous for the horn or horns growing above the nose and a thick armor-like hide. Rhinoceroses are vegetarians.

Species[edit | edit source]

There are five species: two in Africa and three in south Asia. Both African species and the Sumatran rhinoceros have two horns, while the Indian and Javan rhinoceros have a single horn. All rhino species are considered extremely endangered.

Endangered status[edit | edit source]

With their numbers in the wild decreasing, rhinos are protected by law and hunting them is illegal. (See below: "Illegal trade")

There are some efforts in zoos and animal sanctuaries worldwide to breed rhinos and increase their populations. However, this is a slow process and not likely to make a meaningful difference to the global populations.

Illegal trade[edit | edit source]

Source of the problem[edit | edit source]

Some cultures consider a powder made from rhino horn to have medicinal properties. The horn is composed of keratin, the same ingredient in hair and fingernails. The value of this substance has created an illegal, "black market" for obtaining it and trading in it. Illegal hunters are called "poachers."

Possible solutions[edit | edit source]

Protecting rhinos[edit | edit source]

  • Training and equipping rangers in the field, including the use of tracker dogs [1]


Reducing consumer demand[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]


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