Featured Image Credit: Domaine de Thoiry via AP
By Natalie Helbling
Rhinoceroses are critically endangered. Their most harmful predator is unfortunately humans. Rhinos are being poached to extinction for their extremely precious horns. In many cultures the horns have healing powers for numerous illnesses, in others, the horns are a vital instrument in weaponry like handles for daggers.
The wild populations of these rhinos are already low in numbers and decreasing as poachers continue to kill. There are a select few in captivity that are being protected and are being bred to sustain population numbers. However, as the demand and price for rhino horns increase these rhinos are now being targeted.
In a wildlife park near Paris, a 5 year old rhino named Vince was shot and killed simply for the harvest of his horns. Zoo keepers found the carcass of this helpless animal the next morning. Unlike the horns of elephants, rhinoceros horns are not made of ivory, they are made of keratin. Keratin is the same material that makes up your hair and nails.
Zoo keepers all over, including the U.S and Europe are now increasing their security measures to protect their captive rhinos. The threat has increased drastically, and more preventative measures must be taken to protect these endangered creatures. One subspecies of the white rhino has already become extinct, we need to make sure this does not happen to the other species!
If you are interested in reading more about how you can help save the rhinos check out this website: https://www.savetherhino.org/