Our Blog and News

22 September 2020

Rhinocerotidae

Hi everyone and welcome back to another blog!

Now I know what you may be thinking! Where have I been?? And how could I come back and bomb you with this strange, yet familiar word??

I decided to hold back posting my blog for a couple of days as today is an incredibly special day, it is World Rhino Day!

World Rhino Day was first founded in South Africa in 2010 by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature) in a plight to save and preserve the five Rhino species in the world – Black Rhino, White Rhino, Greater One-Horned Rhino, Sumatran Rhino and Javan Rhino.

There is a mere estimated 72 Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) presumed to be part of a single population.

With less than 80 individuals, the Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is threatened mostly from habitat loss – from deforestation for palm oil and paper pulp.

Due to concerted conservation efforts the Greater One-Horned Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) has steadily increased to a population of around 3580 individuals.

The Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis) and White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum) are the only two species of Rhino that you find in South Africa. Black Rhino suffered a dramatic decline in their numbers (about 96%) leaving an estimated 5500 alive today.

White Rhino recovered from near extinction (around 50 individuals) to a population of around 18900 today!

The easiest way to tell the difference between a black and a white rhino is to have a look at their mouths. White rhino has a wide, flat, square-shaped mouth used for easily grazing grass in the open plains whereas Black rhino have triangular, hooked-shaped mouths which they use for easily browsing on trees and shrubs. Black rhino is also marginally smaller than a White rhino.

Poaching is unfortunately one of the main threats to all rhino populations and unfortunately this is due to the false belief in various medicinal and traditional uses for the rhino horn.

The horn of the rhino is merely compacted keratin. The same as our fingernails. This is why many sanctuaries and game reserves, like Inkwenkwezi, dehorn their rhino. The dehorning process is a totally painless one for the rhino – merely like cutting your fingernails but on a much larger scale – where the rhino is sedated, the horn is cut off and the reversal drug is given, waking up the rhino to go about their day as if nothing happened.

When I am sitting at a Rhino sighting with my guests, I appreciate each and every moment. Silently watching a gorgeous gentle giant grazing, listening to their deep breath and the soft shuffling of their feet as they move across the open grass.

Rhinos have extremely poor eyesight, having a clear visual of stationary objects up to no more than 15 meters, however their hearing and sense of smell is acute.

It’s fascinating to watch how alert rhino are, as their ears flick around detecting the faintest sounds nearby.

These beautiful creatures need to be protected and every effort needs to be made to prevent their extinction. This is why at Inkwenkwezi we will be starting up a Rhino Fund.

The donations received by this fund will be used to increase the Rhino population on our reserve, to improve and upgrade the anti-poaching measures for our Rhino, as well as for dehorning our Rhino.

We will be preparing a ‘show-room’ at the entrance of Inkwenkwezi, where there will be numerous facts and photographs to enjoy and a special place of honour for those who have donated to our cause, where they can proudly stand and see their name on a plaque on the wall.

If you have any enquiries with regards to our new Rhino fund project, please complete the ‘Contact Us’ form.

Thank you all for reading another one of my blogs! Remember to ask any questions you may have in the comments section below and have a great World Rhino Day!

Warm regards

Ranger Tammy

7 Comments:

  1. Excellent Tams and very informative.

  2. Fascinating animal and a real challenge to a veterinarian to anaesthetise. Collapse of the valves stops supply of blood to the brain and death. Once down the animal has to be given the reversal drug in few minutes to prevent the cardio respiratory collapse. Enjoy the lovely rain regards

  3. Excellent and informative

  4. You must have had a spectacular view of all those animals after the rain…I will have to find someone to take me there when in East London. Enjoyed reading your post.

    • I really had spectacular sightings! It is one of the best times to come out on a drive. It will definitely be worthwhile to come out on a game drive.

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