World Rhino Day: September 22, 2013
It’s an honor to work with these astonishingly beautiful animals. They are immensely powerful, yet their spirits are gentle - and they are vulnerable enough to need our protection.
3 out of the 5 remaining rhinoceros species are critically endangered - Black, Javan, and Sumatran. The other 2, White and Indian, are getting there. Their populations are being devastated by poaching for their horns, which are believed by some cultures to have medicinal and/or mystical properties. But rhinoceros horns are made of keratin, which is exactly what human nails and hair are made of.
If our remaining rhinos are going to be able to bounce back from the brink of extinction, they’re going to need help. Resources:
- International Rhino Foundation and Save the Rhino - rhino conservation info, donation options
- Rhino Force - buy bracelets, scarves, hats, etc. to benefit rhino conservation
- World Wildlife Fund - help stop wildlife crime (with video series)
As a zookeeper who has the distinct privilege of caring for four spirited, regal, awe-inspiring Black Rhinos every day, and as an active participant in the uphill battle to breed these animals and help increase their numbers, I cannot express how close this issue is to my heart and how important it is to me that everyone understands that these animals need help. When I’m eye-to-eye with the rhinos in my care, it’s impossible not to be overwhelmed with love and respect for them. They have brought so much unexpected joy to my life. We are dangerously close to losing rhinos forever within our lifetime, and that is a future I can’t even bear to imagine. Please, please donate to the above organizations if you are able to; and spread the word to help more people appreciate these incredible creatures and inspire them to do whatever they can to discourage poaching.
Thank you for reading.