Black Rhino

The Bear Adventure; Fur, Feathers, and Ferns, has as taking a look at animals that are extinct or on the verge of extinction.

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The Black Rhino was declared to be extinct in 2011. Since then, there have been a few more found resulting in the Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis) to be resurrected from the extinction list and placed on the Critically endangered list. But how did they even get on this list?

In the 1950’s the leader of China, Mao Zedong, encouraged the Chinese people to use traditional Chinese medicine rather than using Western medicine. Rhino horns are used in many Chinese medicines and within their culture is believed to cure all forms of disease and even cure cancer. Also, in the Middle East, Rhino horns are used as decoration. The result in both cases was horrible for the Rhinos as they were killed only for their horns.

In 1970 the estimated population of the Black Rhino was 65,000 in Africa. By 1993 because of unregulated hunting and poaching there were only 2,300… that’s a decrease of 96% ! Currently it is estimated that the population is between 5,000 - 5,400.

Today, there are activists that are doing their best to keep not only the Black Rhino, but all rhinos off of the extinction list. Especially since during the last 18 years poaching has increased.

Rhino Poaching Statistics

What is Poaching? The illegal practice of trespassing on another’s property to hunt or steal game without the landowner’s permission.

Check out World Wildlife for more information on the Black Rhino and other species that are endangered.