Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Wildlife Wednesday - is it a lost cause?
I know that I posted the rhino’s plight before, but since I saw him in the news again, I just had to share more of his stories.
As with other animals, there are several species of rhinos, some doing better than others, but none doing well. The number of southern white rhinos is around 20,400. On the critically endangered list, the Black rhino comes in at around 5,000 and one subspecies is already extinct.
But yesterday morning I read this said statement: “The rarest and smallest species of rhinoceros, the Sumatran rhino, has been declared extinct in Malaysia.”
Searching the internet last night I found this good news: “An Ohio zoo that has the last Sumatran rhino in the United States announced plans Tuesday to send him to Southeast Asia on a mission to mate and help preserve his critically endangered species.”
It still doesn’t sound good for any rhinos. The northern white rhino of Africa has met the worst fate. Their entire population is down to four. FOUR! One male and three females, who are all incapable of reproducing. “Nabiré, a 31-year-old female northern white rhino, died of a ruptured cyst in July.”
Besides having a shrinking habitat, the rhino carries a precious commodity on his head – his horn. Poachers continue to slaughter these magnificent creatures at the rate of three per day in Southern Africa! Just because some wealthy people, mostly in China, believe the horn has medicinal properties. There is a software engineer in California who is perfecting a fake horn which is so biologically similar to the rhino horn that he believe the sale of his imitation horn will drive down the price making it less desirable to kill for the real thing. A good idea in theory, but isn’t that giving into the creeps who want these rhino horns in the first place, like feeding an addict’s habit with something else instead of curing the problem?
I know there is no easy answer. Is there ever?