Just in case you didn’t know, it is #WorldRhinoDay! Here at Kingdom, we wanted to celebrate this incredible species by dropping some knowledge on the importance and challenges rhinos face! Linking our favorite organizations so you’ll be able to get more information on the topics we cover and donate!
Let’s start with the introduction of the five species of rhinos we’re lucky to celebrate today, starting with the most endangered of the species, the Javan Rhino. Once the most widespread rhino in Asia, Javan rhinos are a critically endangered species with only 75 rhinos left out in the wild according to the, International Rhino Foundation. Luckily, the population is stabilized and slowly growing. Fun fact: The Java rhino is the introvert of the five species being the least vocal of the five. So instead, they communicate through their sense of smell using their urine and dung to announce themselves. Pretty incredible nonverbal communication skills if you ask us.
Next, we have the Sumatran rhino. Similarly, to its’ cousin they roamed Asia, specifically Southeast Asia, in large numbers. Unfortunately, they have been reduced to fewer than 80 rhinos and can only be found in the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo. What’s worse is their habitat is steadily declining making it difficult for them to find each other to reproduce. Fortunately, conservation organizations and the Indonesian government have established the Sumatran Rhino Rescue (SRR) to capture and relocate the rhinos to promote breeding. Fun Fact: The Sumatran rhino is the little and hairy guy of the five species. Additionally, they get their coat of hair from their long distant and extinct cousin, the woolly rhino.
Third, the Greater One-Horned Rhino has seen its’ population revitalized as a result of the success the India Rhino Vision project has achieved (IRV2020). The project led to strict protection for the Greater One-horned, allowing the species numbers to increase from 200 to 2,500 in 2005—an improbable feat. Currently the population is less than 3,700 one-horns in the wild but the Indian government in partnership with non-profits are developing a strategy to continue the steady growth of the population. This is an encouraging win as the fight to keep the five alive continues. Fun Fact: The 4,800 lb one horn is surprisingly a good swimmer!
Then, there is the White Rhino who has seen one of its’ subspecies extinct—the northern white rhino. Sadly, the Southern White rhino is the most susceptible to poaching practices because of the high price on rhino horns. As a result, the White rhino has seen its population dwindle steadily over the past decade from over 20,000 in the wild to roughly, 18,000. This exact reason is why here at Kingdom we stand so firmly with orgs like The International Anti-Poaching Foundation. Fun Fact: White Rhinos are the opposite of their Asian cousins as they are not only the largest of all rhinos but the extroverts of the bunch!
Finally, we have the critically endangered Black Rhino. The good news is the Black Rhino has seen its’ population increase by about 17%. Seeing one on its’ subspecies, the eastern Black rhino, have gains of around 35% in the last decade! However, the most imminent threat Black rhino’s success is the poaching and major droughts. Meaning relocation and protection will be at the forefront of government, private, and organizations like Save the Rhino International (SRI). If that wasn’t challenging enough, the pandemic has put financial strain on the Kenyan government having to make budget cuts to wildlife services. Fun Fact: The Black Rhino is known to be the bad-tempered one of the five cousins. In other words, they don’t really like to deal with anyone’s bullshit and well, we can relate.
As you can tell saving The Five won't be easy but the idea isn't for this to seem grim or hopeless. It is to show that there is a problem and we need to continue to show support those individuals and organizations making strides to make a difference. We will continue to use our platform because we're strong believers that if everyone does a little no one has to do a lot. Don't forget the links provided in the article are organizations that we believe are making strides in the fight to save The Five.
We know it’s been a while since we last had the opportunity to chat and guess what, we miss y’all! So just know we’re back and excited to continue having compelling conversations about everything we care about here at Kingdom. We’ll talk more soon—stay wild.