Wake up to the plight of one of earths most famous inhabitants and play your part in saving a species before its too late. In honour of World Rhino Day we have compiled our Top 10 rhino facts to get you interested, involved and, hopefully, to tell you something about rhinos you didnt already know.
1. Rhinos have earned themselves quite a fearsome reputation. In fact the opposite is true; they are very nervous and jittery creatures that should definitely have gone to Specsavers. Rhinos are incredibly near-sighted and as such, a movement that might not seem like much to us will actually scare the life out of a rhino and that is why they charge, it has nothing to do with their temper.
2. Certainly the scarcest of the rhino family, the Javan rhinoceros, is a creature so rare it is also one of the rarest large land animals on the planet. There is an estimated population of around 40 left in the wild. There were originally two populations left; one in Indonesia and one in Vietnam, however, as a result of poaching the population in Vietnam became extinct in 2011. Ujung Kulon National Park, Java, in Indonesia is now the only place they remain.
3. Sensitive skin? On a rhino? Thats right, despite their armoured hide rhino skin is actually quite vulnerable to sunburn and insect burns. But rhinos are smart. If you ever see a rhino soaked in mud this is why; the mud soothes any irritation of their skin and allows them to carry on as normal.
4. Everyone needs someone to watch out and look after them; no man is an island after all. And it would appear the same applies to rhinos. Only the irony is a rhinos buddy is tiny in comparison. Known commonly as tickbirds or the rhinos guard, rhinos share a symbiotic relationship with a bird called an oxpecker. These birds snaffle any insects or ticks that have designs on their rhino pal ensuring no need for a mud bath to soothe that sensitive skin. They are also very handy when danger is afoot, if they sense trouble nearby they alert their rhino by making a terrible racket.
5. How much would you pay for fingernails? How about $65,000 a kilo? A rhinos horn is the reason they are hunted and yet the substance they are made from, Keratin, is not particularly precious at all. It is a material found in nails, hair and animal hooves. But it is believed by many in the East to hold medicinal properties and is used for such purposes. However, it is scientifically proven that this is untrue; there is the same amount of goodness found in a rhino horn as there is in your nails, it is only through ignorance and a perversion of the truth that one is considered more precious than the other.
6. In spite of being almost the exact same colour there are two species of rhino in Africa, a black rhino and a white rhino. The main difference between them is that a white rhinos lip is square while a black rhino possess a pointed hooked lip. Black rhinos are browsers and are slightly smaller, more aggressive and solitary. They are often found in think vegetation which is possibly the reason why the female will often run in front of her calf to clear a pathway. White rhinos are grazers and it is not uncommon to see 10 or 15 white rhinos together. They are normally found in open areas such as plains and the calf normally runs in front of its mother with the mother using her horn to direct the calf by tapping it on the ear.
7. On average the white rhino weighs in at a whopping 4 - 6000 pounds, measures a titanic 12 - 15ft in length and stands at a lofty 6ft. This species of rhino is second only to the elephant in terms of size making it the worlds second largest land mammal.
8. Through the observation of rhinos in captivity is has been noted by keepers that rhinos possess considerable intelligence. They acknowledge and answer to their given names and quite appreciate human interaction, especially a nice scratch behind the ear or even a game of fetch. They are also capable of being trained through the use of treats and are highly cooperative when it comes to having a check-up from the vet.
9. Despite their appearance and their inclusion in the same group of animals as elephants and hippos, known as pachyderms, a rhinos closest living relatives are horses and tapirs. Rhinos, tapirs and horses are the only three animals in the world within the genus Perissodactyla or odd-toed ungulates. This is a group reserved for those creatures, hoofed and with an odd number of toes; the rhinos has only three toes on each foot, hence its inclusion.
10. Finally, a little fact about both humans and rhinos; homo sapiens have been on earth an estimated 200,000 years, a relatively short time in the grand scheme of things, while rhinos have walked the earth for more than 50 million years. Somehow I think they were here first. We can stop rhino poaching now and save an ancient and fascinating creature from imminent extinction but we cannot do so without you. We've been proud partners of Save the Rhino
since 2013 and share a joint vision that all rhino species will thrive in the wild for future generations.