Museum scientist Kevin Cole has just returned from a trip to the Kruger National Park. A number of magnificent rhino sightings highlighted the need for humankind (as custodians of the natural world) to respect and fight for the survival of rhino species worldwide.
Homo sapiens are the only species that have the key to conserving the 50 million year evolutionary expression that are rhinos seen in the wild today. Both the white and black rhinoceros in southern Africa descended from the same species, the extinct Ceratotherium praecox which lived some 7 million years ago.
These creatures bring on a sense of awe to any visitor seeing them for the first time and play an ecological role in natural ecosystems that compliments other grazers and browsers living in protected areas.
The white rhinoceros pictured above is the second largest African land mammal and can weigh up to 2.3 tons. They consume a large amount of grass each day (estimates are as much as 5% of body mass). From about 12 years of age the males will hold territories.
The black rhino pictured below can weigh up to 1.2 tons and is a browser. They are solitary and territorial and can live up to 45 years. The calf of the black rhino runs behind the mother when they flee unlike the white rhino where the calf runs in front of the mother.
Spare a thought this Saturday (22 September) for rhino conservation and the rangers that protect these animals from poachers.
What is World Rhino Day?
World Rhino Day celebrates all five species of rhino: Black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan rhinos.
When is World Rhino Day?
World Rhino Day is on September 22nd.
How did World Rhino Day get its start?
World Rhino Day was first announced by WWF-South Africa in 2010. The following year, World Rhino Day grew into an international success, encompassing both African and Asian rhino species, thanks to the efforts of two determined women …
What happened in 2011?
It all started with an email: In mid-2011, Lisa Jane of Chishakwe Ranch in Zimbabwe was planning ahead for World Rhino Day. She searched online for ideas and potential collaborators, and found Rhishja’s blog. Lisa Jane sent Rhishja an email, and the two found they shared a common goal of making World Rhino Day a day of celebration for all five rhino species. Meanwhile, the team at Rhino Africa prepared for their second World Rhino Day event in Cape Town, building on the success of South Africa’s popular 2010 campaign.
In the months that followed, the teams worked together to make World Rhino Day 2011 an international success, both online and offline. World Rhino Day has since grown into a global phenomenon, uniting NGOs, zoos, cause-related organizations, businesses, and concerned individuals from nearly every corner of the world!
Is there a theme for World Rhino Day?
Yes! “Five Rhino Species Forever” celebrates both the African and Asian rhino species. In addition, World Rhino Day is an opportunity to highlight efforts to debunk the myths and diminish the demand for rhino horn.
Is there more than one event on World Rhino Day?
Yes! It is believed that World Rhino Day is a success because it provides the opportunity for cause-related organizations, NGOs, zoos, and members of the public to celebrate World Rhino Day in their own unique ways. These activities varied from one participant to the next. Donors and partners are able to contribute to the organizations and initiatives of their choosing. Peaceful demonstrations, classroom projects, fundraising dinners, auctions and poster displays are just a few examples.