September 22nd is World Rhino Day! Join us in celebrating these peaceful, majestic creatures with some interesting facts.
There are five species of the Rhinoceros. Two are from Africa, known as the Black Rhino and the White Rhino. Three are from Asia, known as the Greater One-Horned Rhino, Sumatran Rhino, and Javan Rhino.
The Rhino Population is under constant threat by hunters who kill rhinos for their horns. Keratin is what makes their horns so desirable. Keratin is a protein that we humans also have in our hair and fingernails. Their horns grow continuously during their lifetime. Growing over 2.75 inches every year and can grow to 59 inches. Very few rhinos survive outside national parks and reserves due to this continuous poaching. Poaching is most common in the Black Rhino, Sumatran Rhino, and Javan Rhino, which are on the “critically endangered” list. There are fewer than 70 Javan and 100 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild. The Black rhino has suffered the most drastic decline of all the species. Between 1970 and 1993, the black rhino decreased by 96%. The good news is since 1996, there have been intense anti-poaching efforts implemented to help the rhinos slowly recover. However, they still need our help! These creatures are necessary for our ecosystem to have proper balance.
Rhinos are the second largest mammal on Earth next to the elephant, also an endangered, intelligent, gentle creature. Rhinos are massive prehistoric-looking, like a dinosaur. They are one of the oldest groups of mammals. Rhinos have been around for millions of years and help balance our land because of their grazing habits which help shape the landscape for all wildlife and natural resources.
Fun Facts about our Rhino friends:
These Herbivores Run in a Crash
Rhinos are vegetarians and can eat up to 100 pounds a day. Sumatran rhinos are the smallest and weigh about 1323 pounds. They have a diet of leaves, grass, twigs, and fruit – it is a wonder how they can be so massive! Don’t let their size fool you though rhinos are quick and agile. They can run up to 30 miles an hour, dodging trees and brush at high speeds. Male rhinos are bulls; female rhinos are cows, and their babies are calves. A group of rhinos is called a crash.
Black and White Rhinos Perplexing Name
Black and white rhino’s names can be misleading, as they are both grey. White rhinos get their name from the Afrikaan’s word for wide (wyd) because of their wide square lip. As opposed to the black rhino who has a pointy upper lip. Early English explorers mistook the word for white and consequently, the white rhino got its name.
Mud Keeps Them Cool
Despite what you might think when you look at the rhino’s thick skin, they have sensitivity to bug bites and the sun. Since they can easily sunburn, they love to bathe in mud to protect themselves from bugs, parasites, and sunburns.
Outstanding Smell and Hearing
Rhinos have poor vision. They cannot see a motionless creature at a far distance, so they rely on their strong sense of smell and hearing. Their ears can rotate and gather sounds from all around. Their sense of smell is also a key to survival.
We should remember that we are all connected. We must respect all the beautiful creatures who all have something to offer our world. Rhinos make this world a better place! Let us celebrate Rhinos today and every day!