(All photographs in this post taken by and owned by PaulSeesTheWorld)
Southern White Rhinos
In 1998, the White Rhino was determined extinct in Zambia, the victims of poachers who only wanted the horn. The demand through Asia for the horns remains strong as it is used in traditional medicine (although the horn is just keratin like hair and fingernails). Poachers maim or kill the Rhino and cut off the horn, leaving the animal to die (or the carcass).
Fortunately Zambia started an aggressive anti-poaching and reclamation program for this animal. Rhinos have been around for between 600,000 and a million years. Zambia’s program has been a success story, but their is still a long ways to go (especially in South Africa for these animals).
I visited Mosi O Tunya National Park outside Livingstone, Zambia last year to see this amazing herbivore. We met a dedicated and knowledgeable man who protects the animals in the park from poachers. Seeing the Rhinos and talking with the people who protect them was such an optimistic experience.
Northern White Rhinos – Literally Only 3 Left In the World
Northern White Rhinos are a different sub-species than Southern White Rhinos. The reason they are listed as critically endangered is because, after over 600,000 years of a viable population, there are only 3 of these amazing animals left in the world. The reasons for their complete extinction are all because of humans – poaching and compressing their habitat among others.
Helping Rhinos and Other Endangered Animals – The Perfect Christmas Gift
If there is someone special on your Holiday Shopping List, and you can’t think of any good gift to give them, and they are the socially-conscious or animal-loving type, then a donation in their name to one of the many amazing groups helping to protect endangered animals may be the perfect gift idea.
Obviously check out the group ahead of time to ensure they are legit, but there are plenty of good groups out there, like International Rhino Foundation where 91% of their fundraising goes back to the programs which support Rhinos (which for a charity is a strong rating).
Thank you for reading.