Wildlife Wednesday: The Black Rhino

Black Rhinos are virtually living fossils. They are a peek into the past. Such a stunning animal with such a scary life right now. They are on the verge of extinction.

Black Rhino 2

 

Their population is less the 5,000, their habitat is only in the deserts and grasslands of Namibia (Africa). It’s a horrible thought to think that this animal could be gone in our own lifetime. European hunters were mainly responsible for their decline in the 20th century, killing 5-6 rhinos every day. They were targets for trophies of just amusement. Now, they are targets for poachers in illegal wildlife trade. The only thing those poachers want? The horn. The rest of the animal is left for dead, an horrible fate.

Long ago, there use to be several subspecies of Black Rhinos. Eight in total, now only about five exist. Many of those subspecies may already be extinct.

At a weight of 1,700 – 3,000 pounds, they are built like tanks. Intimidating as they may look they try to avoid contact with others. Docile, you may say unless provoked.  After any mother would do anything they could to protect their child, same as the Black Rhino. Their skin is in thick-layers, a marvel of evolution. This protects them from thorn and sharp grasses in their habitat. Their eyesight is very poor, which may make them an easy target for poachers. They rely on smell on hearing.

Black Rhino 3

 

Why do these creatures matter, besides they are living fossils? They drive a lot of economy to Africa. Rhinos are one of the main wildlife animals tourists want to see. People pay thousands of dollars just to go on park grounds to see these creatures in the home. Saving them, in the process saves many of the other wildlife in Africa, including elephants. The more land, the more animals saved.

Some may say they are a poster child for stopping illegal wildlife trade. A great resource to use is http://www.traffic.org/. Great information for all wildlife.  Just remember you can make a difference. People have voiced their concerns to the President, he listened:

President Obama commits US$10 million to tackling wildlife crime

All it takes is for your voice to join with many. Help save these beautiful creatures. Not only do you save them but the people around them. Natives are killed many times in these trade regions and weapons are brought in throughout the world. This sparks even more violence. It’s time to end it.

I can’t tell how passionate I am with this subject. It keeps me going with producing more art, makes me want to help the change happen. This means something deep down inside of me. Although, hard to explain I hope you can understand the meaning behind this. Keep voicing your concerns, it benefits more then just wildlife.

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