Don’t let the Rhinos,
become extinct like Dinos

Saving mother nature, one bit at a time.

white rhino, giants, couple

Why Rhino?

With different species of Rhinos going extinct, it is our last chance to get things right and start working towards a plan that helps the last surviving creatures lead a healthy life. Due to that, you need to join us in the fight to save Rhinos and bring their life to normalcy.

Volunteer Journey

Join Us in Saving Rhinos

Step up to do the right thing and join the fight that is aimed at helping the rhinos lead a safe and secure life. 

white rhino, warthogs, drinking

Be a Part Of

Our Mission

From forest protection to breeding, our mission spreads all across the corner and is essential to lead the way to prevent these creatures from going extinct. 

Forests

plums, fruit, fruits

Food

coast, rocks, stones

Clean Water

zoo, rhino, animals

Breeding

1200 +

Animals Saved

1200 +

Hectors Forest Land

0 K+

Members Worldwide

1200 M+

Funds Raised

Know More About

What We Achieved

By raising funds and other essential sources of support, we have managed to lend a helping hand towards the fight against extinction. But that alone cannot be seen as a sign to cheer because there is a long way to go, and we cannot do so without your help. 

Latest From Our Blog

5 Ideal Gifts for Wildlife Lovers and Nature Enthusiasts

Elephant on sunset

If you have friends or family who love nature, there’s no better way to show them you care than a gift that reflects nature’s goodness. However, finding the right gift with a suitable theme is not as easy as it seems. And no, we’re not talking about generic coffee mugs and t-shirts that say ‘I love nature!’

The ideal gifts for nature lovers involve carefully hand-picked items that celebrate and encourage eco-friendly, animal-loving, and environmentally-friendly behavior. So, what kinds of gifts have this sentiment?

We’re glad you asked. Here are some of the best gifts for nature and wildlife lovers.

1. A Nature Journal

Whether it’s drawing a rare bird, penning down a poem, or maintain a list of all the insects you see, having the right nature journal makes all the difference. And The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling is the perfect gift for anyone willing to take up this habit.

It contains tons of guides, tutorials, illustrations, and descriptions of how to write a nature journal in the best possible way! This one’s for the artist, the dreamer, the poet, the writer, or simply someone who loves creative expression!

2. Premium Bat-house

While most people are appalled at the idea of having bats near you, wildlife lovers will try to create homes for them. And getting them a cozy bat-house is one of the best gifts you can give them.

My neighbor’s kid is fascinated with bats (No points for guessing which caped crusader is his favorite hero!) I got him an Applewood Outdoor Bat-house for his birthday, and his parents say it’s the first thing he runs to after coming home from school. It turned out to be a top Geschenke für einen 7 Jahre Alten Jungen, and it’s not surprising if you ask me!

3. Bird-house Camera

Do you have a friend or family who spends more time with a birdhouse than you think necessary? Get them a bird-house spy cam!!

The Hawk-eye Wireless Spy Cam is super easy to install, and it transmits all the images/video wirelessly to the receiver. So, they can monitor the nest, birds, and their behavior without leaving the house or disturbing the little creatures. Imagine the joy they get when they have the footage of the eggs hatching or the tiny birds taking their first flight.

Alternatively, you can have it installed in your dog house, chicken coop, or any other pet and livestock house. So, it’s really a multi-purpose camera for any animal lover.

4. Seeds of perennial flowers

Nature-lovers are very often gardeners too! And a great way to make their day is by giving them seeds of plants they may not have.

We’re not talking about everyday flowers that are in every garden (although they’re great too!). Instead, get them the seeds of some perennial wildflowers.

The HomeGrown Wildflower Seeds are easily available online, and they have a healthy variety of wildflower seeds. These flowers grow and bloom year-round with minimum care. So, they don’t have to go foraging into the woods or hike up a mountain just to see beautiful blue flax or the delicate baby’s breath.

5. An Aquatic mini-ecosystem

Ditch the regular aquariums and fishbowls. Your nature-loving friend probably already has one. Instead, go for a whole ecosystem in a container. Sounds impossible? The Small Sphere Bowl by a brand called EcoSphere offers precisely that!

It’s a completely enclosed bowl that fuses biology, marine science, and art all in one lovely little sphere. And it doesn’t come with the fish-feeding responsibilities of an ordinary aquarium. The marine shrimp and algae in the sphere survive easily. All you do is ensure that the temperature stays between 60-80 and there’s adequate illumination.

Scientists fertilize eggs from last northern white rhinos

African rhino in the Savanna at sunset

Scientists working to save the northern white rhinos from extinction, a species of which only two females remain in the world – Najin and Fatu – announced today that 7 of the 10 eggs taken from these animals in the past were fertilized Friday in Kenya in a groundbreaking operation.

The eggs were artificially inseminated with frozen sperm from two males, Suni and Saut, and four of them belong to Fatu and 3 to Najin, the Kenyan Wildlife Conservation Service (KWS) said in a statement on Monday.

Operation performed for the first time

Maturation and fertilization, completed in an Italian laboratory, were crucial steps in obtaining potentially viable embryos that could then be transferred to southern white rhino “surrogate mothers”.

In the extraction operation, carried out for the first time in history last Friday in the Kenyan reserve of Ol Pejeta (where the two females live), a total of 10 immature eggs had been obtained, so the scientists have been satisfied with the results achieved.

We are surprised by the high maturation rate achieved since we do not see such a high rate, comparable to what we obtain with oocytes (immature precursors of ovules) from horses, with female southern white rhinoceros in European zoos.

Saut’s semen was very difficult to work with and to find the three live sperm needed for Najin’s eggs we had to thaw two semen samples, added the scientist from the Avantea laboratory, specialized in reproduction.

Embryo development

Now, the inseminated eggs will go through an incubation process and it is expected that around September 10 it will be announced whether embryos developed enough to be cryopreserved and later transferred for gestation were achieved.
The procedures have been the result of years of research and practice within the international “BioRescue” program.

Those responsible behind this milestone are the Leibniz Institute for Zoological and Wildlife Research Berlin (Leibniz-IZW), Avantea, the Czech Dvur Kralove Zoo, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research.

Najin and Fatu, the world’s last two remaining northern white rhinoceros , were brought to Kenya from the Czech Republic in 2009 along with two males, Suni (died 2014) and Sudan, in the hope that their habitat naturally will stimulate procreation.

Sudan, the last surviving male (father of Najin and grandfather of Fatu), was euthanized in March 2018 after significantly aggravating the ailments he suffered.

With the aim of saving the northern white rhinoceros from extinction, a species of which only two females remain in Kenya – Najin and Fatu – a group of scientists has extracted their eggs for the first time to be fertilized “in vitro”.

white rhinoceros

Two unique specimens of white rhinoceros

The process was very delicate. They are the only two (northern) white rhinos left in the world. The anesthesia used was highly sensitive and required a lot of teamwork and preliminary studies. We use the rhinoceros immobilization protocol (and) monitor the physiological parameters. The animals were calm and everything went very well.

In vitro fertilization

Now these eggs will be fertilized “in vitro” in a laboratory in Italy with the frozen sperm of Suni (died in 2014) and Sudan, the last male northern white rhinoceros, sacrificed in March 2018 in Ol Pejeta after worsening the disease he suffered .

Later, if there is an embryo, they will be implanted in female southern white rhinoceros, the scientists detailed, since both Najin and Fatu are sterile.
The procedure has been the result of years of research and practice, developed within the international “BioRescue” program, which has borne fruit with the extraction of a total of 10 eggs, five from each female.

Those responsible behind this milestone are the Leibniz Institute for Zoological and Wildlife Research Berlin (Leibniz-IZW), Avantea, Dvur Kralove Zoo, Ol Pejeta Conservacy and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany.

Both the technique and the equipment had to be developed entirely from scratch referring to the ultrasound-guided probe that allowed them to extract immature eggs (oocytes), operation carried out this Thursday.

The two females, Najin and Fatu, were transferred to Kenya from the Czech Republic in 2009 along with two males, Suni and Sudan, in the hope that their procreation would be stimulated by being in their natural habitat.

After several unsuccessful attempts, it was discovered that the two females could not become pregnant, and after the death of the only two males it was decided to freeze their sperm for future assisted reproduction.

On the one hand, Ol Pejeta is sad that there are only two specimens of northern white rhinoceros left on the planet, a reserve where the two females live.

However, I am also immensely proud to be part of this pioneering work to save this species and hopefully that this is the beginning of an era in which humans understand that the environment is not a luxury but a necessity.

Why Save The Rhinos?

Mother and baby rhino getting ready to drink

The Valley of The Rhinos

Illegal international wildlife trafficking has reached alarming proportions, and is now ranked as the fourth most worrisome illegal activity in the world after drug and arms trafficking and human trafficking. We are facing a risk for future generations who would live in a world deprived of the most iconic species on the planet. The extinction of species is final, so it is urgent to act as soon as possible.

Rhinos in particular are among the main victims, as demand for rhino horn has reached unprecedented levels. The inevitable illegal trade is coming to a head, exposing Africa’s rhinos to deaths from birth, resulting in population declines at an accelerating rate.

Poaching is increasing rhino conservation costs, to the point that many protected areas are facing a funding gap to effectively protect African rhino populations and give them the priority they deserve.

Fight Poaching, Cultivate Hope

Addressing this challenge requires a specific approach that can be adapted and that in turn integrates financing mechanisms to attract philanthropic and impact investors, in order to improve the management of protected areas effectively.

There is hope for rhinos. The continued success of conservation initiatives specifically targeting certain rhino populations shows that, with the right approach, poaching can be reduced and the rhino population can grow.

Changing The Funding Model For Conservation

One of the hurdles of rhino conservation management is raising sufficient funds from traditional sources required for effective rhino management and protection, not to mention the lack of funds necessary to enhance and sustain these long-term impacts. The challenge of finding long-term financial solutions for species conservation and involving people through the creation of livelihoods depends on a change in the way conservation is financed.

As a consequence, the Rhino Impact Investment (IIR) Project started in 2016 with a three-year trial phase to assess the feasibility of results-based financing to secure long-term funds that are critical to business. conservation areas, with rhinos being the initial focus.

The goal of transforming conservation is to demonstrate that results-based financing mechanisms allocate additional funds to improving the effectiveness of the management of major rhino populations. The result will be to launch a product investment that will drive profitable and impact-focused growth to increase rhino numbers.

Fund Conservation Outcomes

Project IIR’s results-based financing model clearly links the benefits of rhino protection with the return on investments.

Project IIR funding mechanisms direct impact investment funds to selected sites to fund management interventions in favor of rhino conservation. The investor assumes the investment risk based on an understanding or measurement of risk and the uncertainty associated with the interventions.

A key performance indicator (KPI) is used to assess the net growth rate of rhinos and obtain the conservation result. A second set of KPIs are used that favor short-term interim payments, based on the assumption that short-term KPIs favor the final KPI. Based on the conservation result (measured by KPIs), the performance payer pays the impact investor the initial investment with a percentage relative to the conservation result.

Unlike traditional fundraising models, the IIR model design calls for a results-based approach to addressing conservation challenges. The benchmark and evidence-based model encourages stakeholders to critically analyze and understand conservation issues, define progress and focus on results, by shifting the focus from outputs to long-term impacts.

Creative ideas must be conceived, examined and evaluated to generate conservation funding that is cumulative, more efficient, more impactful, and targeted for success: Project IIR is doing just that and has great potential to create a new asset capable of promoting the participation of new and more diversified capital markets in the conservation sector.
This innovative funding initiative will offer performance payers and impact investors the world’s first performance-based funding mechanism specifically targeted at species.

Test Interventions

The IIR Project, in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the Tsavo Fund, is conducting trials through rhino conservation interventions in Kenya’s Tsavo West National Park to monitor and understand the parameters that can critically undermine the development of a results-based financing mechanism specifically for rhinos.

Tsavo West National Park, under the management of KWS, is located in southeastern Kenya and is part of the Tsavo Conservation Area, a huge 48,000 km2 wildlife area. Tsavo is undoubtedly the most important network of protected areas in the country, working for the benefit of a great diversity of species and supporting a population of rhinos of continental importance, as cataloged by the Specialist Group on African Rhinos – Survival Commission of Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN SSC).

The first results, so far, not only support the feasibility of a results-based funding mechanism, but have also yielded important results in rhino conservation work in Tsavo West.

Our last chance to save the rhinos

Rhinoceros in the wild

On the occasion of World Rhinoceros Day, recently celebrated, the NGO Fauna & Flora International draws attention to the urgency of taking measures to guarantee the survival of this species, at risk of extinction due to poaching and the trade in its horns.

In Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Nature Reserve, trained anti-poaching dogs, along with the involvement of local communities, are enabling sustained growth in rhino populations.

Recently, World Rhinoceros Day has been celebrated, a good reason to draw everyone’s attention from people and institutions committed to the same desire: their survival, making it possible for all threatened rhinoceros species to survive for the next century. While the Indian rhinos maintain the type in extremis, those of Sumatra and Java have already entered the spiral that will lead them to extinction, and the same happens with the subspecies of African white rhinoceros, which with a single living male staggers to the ground.

The drive for rhino horn has been fueled not only by demand in areas of Asia but also as a result of instability and insecurity in the areas of Africa where they live, which has increased its value. As a result, it has become a coveted object of trade for ruthless criminal gangs. Thus, the illegal trade in rhinoceros horn has been incorporated into the illegal traffic of arms, drugs and people, since, as in these cases, the risk is acceptable given the economic benefits it brings.

There is no time to lose, the stakes are high. What can we change? What can we do to avoid the end to which the rhinos are headed? The statistics for rhino poaching offer very grim numbers. In the last three years the loss of rhinos in Africa has reached a rate of more than three animals a day , about 3,000 of them in South Africa.

If this continues, the tipping point will come in a couple of years, when deaths exceed births, at which point the total number of rhinos will plummet. Therefore, to avoid this horrible outcome we need to reduce the demand for rhino horn and ensure that rhinos reproduce faster than they are killed by hunters.

To complete the first objective we need to join forces to reduce the demand for rhino horn . There are many and very different people currently involved in this, from Prince William of England, who talks with the Government and the people of China, to Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin group, who is helping to develop strategies to stop this market with Vietnam business leaders. If these conversations turn the tide and reduce demand for rhino horn, the basic laws of the economy will reduce the incentives for poachers and make hunting unprofitable.

But for this, it is equally crucial to develop protective measures in collaboration with local populations. This activity is where Fauna & Flora International, an NGO dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity, is currently concentrating its efforts, with the idea that more rhinoceros populations can be stabilized and started to grow in Africa. Of the African countries with the largest range of rhinoceros distribution – South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya – it has been in the latter where only four rhinos have fallen to the hands of hunters and the protection measures that have been developed in this regard in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy nature reserve.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy is currently home to more than 100 black rhinos. The largest population of black rhinoceros in East Africa is concentrated there, and its population is growing at a rate of 5% per year. In the last two years, new rhinoceros populations have been established on private and communal lands constituted as conservation areas, which has opened the possibility of increasing the number of grasslands available for rhinos provided that local protection efforts are combined. In Ol Pejeta, dogs specially trained against poaching, like the one we have the opportunity to present, Diego, are a valuable help in the protection of this population .

This work is done concurrently with local community development programs, which are fully established, and their involvement has proven to be an effective way to reinforce local rhino protection programs. But, in addition, the dogs are appreciated by the communities around Ol Pejeta, as their tracking capabilities have been put at the service of those communities for other tasks, such as solving crimes, mostly robberies but also murders.

The role of communities living alongside rhino habitat is crucial, and engaging them is critical. In Mozambique, for example, along the fringes of South Africa’s Kruger National Park, a profitable economy has been established among communities based on the benefits of the illegal trade in rhino horn. This situation can be reversed, as the action carried out in Ol Pejeta in Kenya has shown, but it also offers a future.

Transforming an economy that leads to the extermination of the ‘product’ into one where communities can see their own sustainability by focusing their interest, including economic incentives, on the conservation of biodiversity, will make them act as the first line of defense. Where the risks of detecting and stopping poaching outweigh the benefits, the balance always swings in favor of rhinos and, ultimately, local communities. By strengthening these models of sustainability, rhinos will be able to survive. Thanks to the solidarity of all and the joint work of humans and dogs, we will be ensuring their survival.

Introducing rhinos in Australia

Rhino ready to charge

In 10 years there will be no rhinos in the world. So say the associations dedicated to the conservation of the five rhino species in the world. And the truth is, if we look at current trends, the three Asian and two African rhinos have a very uncertain future.

At least, in their home countries. Because if the Australian Rhino Project has its way, we may soon see white rhinos roaming the savannahs of the world’s largest island. It sounds crazy and it might be, but it’s serious.

An endangered species

The aim of the Australian Rhino Project is to expand the population of white rhinos in Australia and New Zealand. The idea is to maintain a genetically diverse hatchery that can act as a “back-up” in case what seems already inevitable occurs. It should not be forgotten that a subspecies of this animal is on the verge of becoming extinct life (despite the efforts of scientists).

So far this decade, 6,925 rhinos have been poached in South Africa alone. No kidding: there are less than 20,000 white rhinos left on the entire continent and the species is increasingly threatened by poaching. That’s where Australia comes in.

The Australian solution

As Bill Laurance, a professor at James Cook University, argued, Australia not only has abundant savannahs, forests, and rainforests (perfect for the many species of rhinos that exist) but also has a strong rule of law, and poaching is tightly controlled.

And it is not because there are no animals in Australia that have a “sweet tooth” for international animal trafficking. That is why Laurence is convinced that the country would have no difficulty in balancing the safety of the species with a thriving ecotourism sector that would make the project profitable.

Obviously, the idea is not to introduce rhinos and set them free. As we discussed when talking about the old proposal to introduce hippopotami into the United States, that would be a huge problem. Advocates of the Australian rhinoceros propose creating rhino reserves where they can live in semi-freedom.

It’s not a bad idea, it all has to be said. In the end, the conservation of endangered species (and their environment) is fundamentally a political and institutional issue. Australia could be a solution to the rhino problem. A partial solution, however. If we are not able to maintain the original populations we will have serious problems, we will have lost the most important thing, but at least we will have hope.

You can help too!

You can support the Australian Rhino Project too by purchasing custom made toy blocks in the shape of a rhino, all earnings will go to this charity directly. These houten blokken for children are made locally and if you buy them, it helps to support this amazing project directly. Visit their website to get more information on this matter!

A final attempt to prevent the extinction of the Sumatran rhinoceros

Sumatran rhino

Saving the last groups of the wild Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus Sumatran) is the aim of a study that identifies, for the first time, priority forest protection areas and “irreplaceable to save the critically endangered species,” according to the authors. It is estimated that only 87-179 specimens are currently in existence in Indonesia.

The Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus Sumatran) is a critically endangered animal whose population has been drastically reduced to only four areas in Indonesia.

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (USA) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Indonesia Program have conducted a study in this island nation of the last wild population of the Sumatran rhinoceros. Details are published in the latest issue of the journal PLoS ONE.

The work provides, according to the authors, vital data to support a last attempt to prevent the extinction of the Sumatran rhinoceros. Wulan Pusparini, lead researcher of the study points out: “Sumatran rhinos can still be saved in their natural environment, but we must ensure areas of protection, which would require significant investments in law enforcement personnel.

The scientists recommend that wildlife conservation managers consolidate existing small populations with strong protections for the animals, as well as determine the percentage of breeding females remaining and recognize the cost of “doing nothing.

The research has identified the small, scattered populations that currently exist and must be consolidated to be viable. Bambang Dahono Adji, Director of Biodiversity Conservation at the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Chairman of the Indonesian Rhino Conservation Secretariat says, “We welcome these important new findings that support Indonesia’s efforts to fully implement the Sumatran Rhino Action Plan.

Rhinoceros

Five intensive protection areas

Using data on rhino signs and their probabilities of occupying the places where these animals al predicted that rhinos only occupy 13% of the area studied.

Five specific areas were identified as critical to saving these critically endangered rhinos, but this is only an overall estimate of their occupation to reduce the risk of poaching.

“With so many unknowns about how to manage rhinos in Sumatra, in the wild or in captivity, our study shows which places we must protect from the beginning,” adds Pusparini.

Overall, the scientists recommend that Indonesia formally establish five “intensive protection zones”, identified in this study, to eliminate poaching. The researchers also urge that all the small surviving populations and scattered individuals of healthy rhinos should be consolidated.

Finally, they urge governments to recognize that it is likely “that the Sumatran rhino will become extinct if no action is taken, as was the case with the last Java rhino in Vietnam in 2010.

A species devastated by Chinese medicine

The Sumatran rhinoceros were first discovered in 1814, they have been drastically reduced in Southeast Asia, where it only lives in three areas on the island of Sumatra and one in Kalimantan (Indonesia).

“The evaluation of the population and spatial distribution of this species is difficult due to its elusive nature and extremely low number of specimens,” the researchers point out.

From 600 animals in 1985, less than 100 have been reached in 2013. Current estimates place the number between 87 and 179, with subpopulations of 2 to 50 rhinos. The demand for rhino horns in traditional Chinese medicine has reduced their numbers and there are currently no viable populations outside Sumatra.

This study “provides urgent information on where the remaining rhinos are distributed,” says Joe Walston, vice president of WCS. “For the first time, we have a clear idea of where this rhino has priority, and we have the tools and techniques to protect them. Now we need to ensure a concerted effort by all agencies to free the Sumatran rhino from being on the verge of extinction.

Some Ideas To Save The Rhinos

Save The Rhinos

At the dawn of the 20th century, there were almost half a million rhinos in Africa and Asia, and this number fell to 70,000 by the year 1970. It became 29,000 in the wild in 2020. This is because of large-scale sporting which is now officially illegal. The rhinoceros is now officially critically endangered, and it is in a dramatic decline from 65,000 black rhinos to just 2300. Even though this number has increased slowly in the last few years, they are very much at risk. Critical endangerment is very dangerous, and it means that this population can dwindle at any time. The demand for the rhinoceros horn in China and Vietnam continues to grow, and we should be looking at saving them. There is a possibility that there are going to be no wild rhinoceros in Africa by next year. A lot of techniques have been used to keep the rhinoceros safe, but they still dwindle.

In this guide, I am going to talk about some ideas to save the rhinoceros, so that it does not become another extinct species, because of the greed of humanity.

Rhino HELP

I am sure you are asking yourself how you can save the rhinoceros. One of the first things we can try is dying the horns of the rhinoceros pink. We can even try poisoning the horn with cyanide. A lot of people have actually tried inserting a camera into the horn to see who is hunting the rhinoceros. Some more people have actually tried de-horning the rhinoceros so that poachers can look at it and just leave it be because it does not even have a horn. Well, the rhinoceros is basically hunted, because of its horn. The horn of the rhinoceros is worth a lot of money indeed. There have been a lot of anti-poaching patrols in Africa, and a lot of them have worked.

A lot of people have actually tried physically lifting the animal with the help of a helicopter and placing it in an area that is safe from human greed. They have also tried introducing a couple of males and females, so that they can increase the population.

A lot of people are also being taught in African schools that the rhinoceros needs to be saved. Even the safaris are educating the tourist of how critically endangered the rhinoceros are.

rhinoceros

Billionaires have even contributed millions of dollars so that they can save the rhinoceros.

The rhino is definitely a wonderful animal, and it deserves our compassion and our love. We should do everything we can to save it, because it is a beautiful beast and it does not deserve to be extinct.

The History of Rhino Poaching

cropped-ffr-rhinos-copy

To think an animal’s body part is worth its weight in gold is mind-blowing to say the least. So how did this lucrative practice begin? Who decided a rhinoceros horn is the key to solving all ailments?

17th-century-rhino-horn-cups
17th century Chinese cups carved from rhino horn

In Greek mythology, rhino horns were said to possess the ability to purify water. The Persians from the 5th century BC used carved vessels from horn to detect poisoned liquids. This belief stuck and existed well into the 18th and 19th centuries among European royalty.

Between 100 BC and 200 AD during the Ming and Ching dynasties, the Chinese thought the same. They used the horn in carvings of plates, bowls and cups. The cups being especially prized to detect alkaloid poisoning, something that was treacherously common at the time.

dagger
Traditional Yemen dagger

Reports of Yemens’ use of the horn dates back to the 8th century. Although their fondness of horn is preferred in decorative use as opposed to medicinal. It is fashioned into ceremonial dagger handles known as jambiyas . This is a status symbol for young men. It epitomizes manhood. The quality of the horn was important because it possesses a translucent quality, that only improves with age.

The use of the horn for medicinal purposes was recorded as early as 1597, in the Chinese “Pen Ts’ao Kang Mu”. In it there are mentions such as “the best horn is from a freshly killed male” and “pregnant women should not take horn as it will kill the foetus”. It also lists the many uses of horn ranging from stopping nightmares and curing possessions to curing headaches and dissolving phlegm.

rhino-horn-medicine
Chinese “medicine” made from horn

In earlier time it was not just the horn, but also blood, and urine used for medicine. This was a commonality of the Chinese, Burmese, Thai, and Nepalis.

In the early 1980s, it was even used as an aphrodisiac by the people of India. This myth probably stems from the fact that breeding pairs stay together for two to three days, and sometimes even weeks. Mating takes place several times a day and lasts for an hour or more at a time.

rhinos-mating-2

The earliest reports of horn trade (in addition to tortoise shell and ivory) were reported as leaving ancient East Africa for Arabia in 50 AD.

Throughout the history of trade, various countries have been involved: Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Yemen, China, Hong Kong, Sumatra, Singapore, Thailand, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa are the most prominent. Various efforts have been made in these countries to legalize and/or ban the trade as well.

What is the most interesting point in the history of the horn trade is that during times horn could be legally traded, illegal trade still flourished.

Thirty species of rhino once roamed the planet. Now thousands of years later, there remain just five. Human greed, consumption and ignorance have cost the rhino. They are teetering on the brink of extinction. Will history teach us nothing?

rhino-cave-painting
Chauvet cave, France- rhino cave painting dating back 30,000 BP (before present time recordings).

Information obtained from TRAFFIC and Richard Ellis: Poaching for Traditional Chinese Medicine

Watching the sun set on a Species

cropped-ffr-rhinos-copy
northern-whites-in-sunset-tony-karumba-afp
Northern whites at Ol Pejeta. by Tony Karumba

Plan A was to make conditions as perfect as possible to breed the last remaining Northern White Rhinos. Ol Pejeta did everything they could to make that a possibility.

Plan B was to cross-breed the Northern whites with the Southern whites to at least perpetuate this precious gene pool. Somehow they would still live on; their genes remaining part of rhino populations to come.

But for the last living male, Sudan, and the two remaining females, Najin and daughter Fatu, this will not be an option. All three are getting on in age. Najin (25) has weak knees and cannot endure the breeding attempts. In a cruel twist of fate, Fatu (14) is infertile, and Sudan (38) has weak sperm.

sudan
The last male Northern White Rhino on the planet, Sudan. by: Ed Barthorp/Ol Pejeta Conservancy

So now what? There’s no superman, no magical 11th hour miracle, no known options left to us. THIS is extinction. Watch, appreciate and admire them while they breathe.

Human greed and ego have slaughtered this species to the point of irreversible catastrophe. We are witnessing the last of the Northern White Rhinos. It is inevitable.

But the big question is- Will we learn from it? Will we allow it to happen again? The Sumatrans, the Javans..they are dangerously close to the same fate. Black, White and Greater One-horned rhinos aren’t much further behind them.

We must not let the Northern Whites die in vain. It is our duty to learn from them, and to prevent the future decimation of rhinos and other species on our planet. The future of rhinos is NOT doomed, it is in the balance, waiting for us to determine the outcome. Vigilance, commitment and determination can preserve the rhinos, and in the end, our own fates as well.

You can be a part of the final days by “adopting” the Northern Whites at Ol Pejeta: Adopt a Northern White Rhino. Proceeds are used on their care, as well as care of the other rhinos at Ol Pejeta.

All Eyes on Thandi

thandi-ed-huydic

Reported by Fight for Rhinos she was one of three rhino found poached in Kariega Game Reserve. Thandi was the only rhino to survive.

Since then this determined survivor has undergone surgery to help heal her opened sinus cavities with skin grafts. Not once, not twice, but about 12 times according to Dr. Will Fowlds. Thanks to efforts from Dr. Fowlds, Dr. Johan Marais, Dr. Gerhard Steenkamp and even a human plastic surgeon, Dr. Alistair Lamont, the team is dedicated to keeping this girl going.

dr-fowlds-working-on-thandi-2

thandi-after

Late 2013..

In December, during one of her procedures, Dr. William Fowlds added an additional blood test to her usual profile that would measure any hormonal fluctuations. Very soon after, it was joyfully announced that Thandi was pregnant!

And with a gestation period between 485 and 540 days, her time is drawing near. All of us anxiously await for the miracle survivor to become a miracle mom.

She might has a chance to be moved to Australia, but that’s still uncertain to this date.

Thandi’s recovery has been long and painful. Her character of resilience and determination have brought out the determination of all of us to help her and to protect others like her from the same awful brutality. Like a modern fairy tale, we route for this heroine to get her “happily ever after”, to continue living safe and healthy; and to be the mom nature intended her to be.