Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why are rhinos endangered?

There are three rhino species, Javan, Sumatran and Black rhinos that are being listed as critically endangered. Javan and Sumatran rhinos that live in Indonesia are at the very brink of extinction with only around 50 Javan and around 250 Sumatran rhinos still left in the wild. The Black rhino population that lives in South Africa currently counts around 4000 rhinos.

Poaching is the main reason why rhinos are endangered. Poachers hunt and kill rhinos because of their horns and then they sell horns to black market in China where it is being in heavy demand by the Chinese traditional medicine.

In the last 18 months poachers killed more than 500 rhinos in South Africa which means that conservationists are so far finding it very hard to compete with well organized poaching gangs. Particularly worrying is the fact that most of these killings have been done in world-famous Kruger National Park.

Poachers often use helicopters and automated weapons which makes conservation efforts extremely difficult. South African government is committed to stop this slaughter but poachers are still not stopping their massacre because they are driven with the very high demand for rhino horns on Asian black market. The government has even ordered military to begun patrolling Kruger in an effort to crackdown on poaching.

The rhinos, despite their gigantic size, are relatively easy target for poachers. This is mostly because they visit water springs daily which means that they are very easily killed by poachers while taking a drink.

Rhinos won't be safe as long as there is a huge demand on Asian black market for rhino horns. The traditional Chinese medicine believes that rhino horns are very effective on fevers and can even save life in some cases, and fighting against the tradition (whatever the tradition may be) is never easy.

It is really sad that humans are rhino’s only natural predators. Killing animals for money in the 21st century isn't something our civilization should be proud of and this brutal poaching needs to be stopped. One way or another.


  1. this is very touching and sad. save the rhino!

  2. One should not forget the critically-endangered North African and South African white rhinoceri species.