Common Name: White Rhinoceros, Black Rhinoceros

Scientific Name: Ceratotherium simum, Diceros bicornis

Type: Mammals

Diet: Herbivores

Group Name: Crash

Average Lifespan in the Wild: 30 to 40 years

Weight: 1.6 to 4 tons

Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)

Black Rhino IUCN

White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum)

White Rhino IUCN Map of Africa- Where Rhino are Found

The African rhino is split into two subspecies, the black rhino and the white rhino. Both sub-species are found throughout Southern Africa and approximately 40% of the black rhino population is found in South Africa. Efforts have been made to reintroduce certain rhino species back into countries such as Zambia.

Although habitat loss is an important consideration, the main threat to rhinos the world over, is poaching. Rhino horn is a highly valued component of traditional Eastern medicine, as practised in China, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. Hundreds of rhinos are killed illegally for their horns every year. The evidence further suggests that this illicit trade is linked more broadly to organized crime, money laundering and arms dealing. Indeed rhino horn has become an extremely valuable commodity, in complete disregard of the environmental cost.

Poaching of rhino has soared over the last decade due mainly down to the increased demand for rhino horn from Asian markets. Rhino horn is believed to have medicinal properties, even though it is only keratin, and is used widely in Asia for traditional medicine. Due to the cost of rhino horn, with it costing more than gold and cocaine, rhino horn is bought by the affluent in Asia and is seen as a symbol of status.


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