September 22 every year is observed as World Rhino Day by animal lovers around the globe. The day is celebrated to promote global awareness about rhinos, their types, and the existential risks they face. The day also calls upon all stakeholders - Governments, NGOs, Zoos, and other Animal related Groups - to frame policies and take actions on saving this critically endangered species.
There are five species of rhino in the world:
- White Rhinos and Black Rhinos: they are mainly found in Africa
- The greater One-horned Rhino found in India, &
- Javan and Sumatran Rhinos found in Asia
White rhinos, black rhinos, and Sumatran rhinos have two horns, but Indian and Javan rhinos have one.
Why Rhinos are in danger globally
- Rhinos are hunted for their precious horns and blood which is used to make expensive traditional medicines.
- These medicines - supposed to cure cancer, fever, convulsions, and impotency - are in huge demand, especially in South East Asian markets.
World Rhino Day History
- The day came into existence in 2010 when the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) observed September 22, 2010, as Rhino Day in South Africa.
- Just so you know, over 60% of rhinos in the world live in South Africa.
- The celebration and subsequent popularity grew into a global phenomenon thanks to the significant contributions of two animal lovers namely Lisa Jane Campbell (Zimbabwe) and Rhishja Cota.
- And thus from the next year, 2011, the day began to be observed as World Rhino Day.
World Rhino Day Significance
- Rhinos have no natural predators except us humans who have pushed this wonderful creature towards extinction.
- The significance of this day lies in creating awareness about why and how we must save Rhinos.
- The more people are aware of Rhinoa, the more pressure we can exert on the government to save them.
How World Rhino Day is celebrated
- Various businesses, celebrities, and individuals contribute funds to organizations like WWF which are involved in the fight against animal poaching.
- The day is also commemorated through peaceful demonstrations, auctions and various competitions in schools.
How we can celebrate the World Rhino Day
- You can hold, or be a part of, a peaceful demonstration against the poaching of Rhinos
- Start, or contribute to, a fundraising event generating money required for this noble cause.
- Read about the rhinos. The more people are aware, the more intense pressure we can create on governments and animal security agencies to stop poachings.
Facts about Rhinos
- Rhinos are large mammals belonging to the Rhinocerotidae family.
- Rhinos are herbivores; they eat grass, plants and fruits.
- They happen to be very agile but can't see beyond 30 meters. This is why poachers hunt them easily in the open.
- South Africa is home to over 60% of the world's rhino population. The African Black Rhinos went extinct in 2011.
- 3 rhinos are poached every day for their horns and blood.
- There were 70,000 Rhinos in 1970; only 27,000 are left today. South Africa has close to 16,000 rhinos while in India the number is estimated at 3,000.
- Some poachers use tranquillizers to disable the rhinos and then inhumanely cut off their horns. The rhinos are then left to bleed to death.
Rhinos in India: Facts
- India has some 3000 rhinos while Nepal is home to 650.
- Nearly all of them are Great Indian One-horned Rhinos.
- 85% of the world's Greater One-horned Rhinoceros are found in just one state Assam.
- Kaziranga National Park is home to 70% of the world's Greater One-horned Rhinoceros population.
How Rhinos are hunted by poachers?
Poachers use different methods to hunt these animals such as shooting, poisoning, electrocution, trapping in pits, and tranquillizing.