Rhino the beautiful dangerous Africa's Big Five

The dangerous African Rhino with its great horn
The rhino is the second largest land-based mammal 
after the African elephants

The might African Rhino
The great one of the Africa's Big Five the one and only part of the dangerous family of the  white rhinos and black rhinos are found in small pockets of eastern and southern Africa; greater one-horned rhinos are found in northern India and southern Nepal; Sumatran rhinos and Javan rhinos are found in small areas of Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Habitat: open grasslands and floodplains for black rhinos and white rhinos; swamps and rain forests for greater one-horned rhinos, Javan rhinos, and Sumatran rhinos.

How the Rhino got its name

Rhinos are  very intelligent animals
Rhinoceroses get their name from their most famous feature: their horns. The word rhinoceros comes from the Greek rhino (nose) and ceros (horn). For ages, rhino horn has been used to treat illnesses, especially fevers. Yet like our fingernails and hair, rhino horn is made of keratin and has no healing properties. In some countries, rhinos are being dehorned, a process that removes the valuable horn but leaves the animal alive and well. This prevents poachers from killing rhinos for the money their horns would bring.

The five types of rhinos are the Sumatran, Javan, black, white, and greater one-horned. Javan rhinos and greater one-horned rhinos have only one horn, while Sumatran rhinos, black rhinos, and white rhinos have two. What they all have in common are large heads, broad chests, thick legs, poor eyesight, excellent hearing, and a fondness for rolling in the mud. Because they are very nearsighted, they often charge when they are startled. This has given them an undeserved reputation for having a bad temper. All rhinos are herbivores, eating grasses or leaves, depending on the species. At the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the rhinos are fed hay and high-fiber biscuits, along

The African rhinos: black and white
Black rhinos Diceros bicornis and white rhinos Ceratotherium simum are the same color—they're both brownish gray! How the white rhino came to be called “white” is uncertain. One account says that South Africa's early Boer settlers called it wijde, Dutch for “wide,” which could refer to the wide lip or the size of the animal. The wide mouth of the white rhino is perfect for grazing on grasses, while the more narrow, prehensile lip of the black rhino is great for pulling leaves and shrubs into its mouth. Other names used for these two rhinos are “broad-lipped” and "hook-lipped." Guess which name belongs to which rhino!

The Asian and the Sumatran rhinoceros

Sumatran Rhino -
 population less than 275 individuals, 
with poaching on the rise
Greater one-horned rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis— The mouth of the greater one-horned rhino looks like a cross between broad-lipped and hook-lipped. Although it is fairly broad, it has a small prehensile lip. Many people describe these rhinos as armor-plated, but they are actually covered with a layer of skin that has many folds. They are native to swampy areas of Northeast India and Nepal. The International Rhino Foundation is working to increase this rhino's population in India. We are on our way to reaching our goal of 3,000 rhinos in India and Nepal by the year 2020.

The rhino's horn could be
removed without harming the
rhino and it will grow back 
Javan rhinoceros Rhinoceros sondaicus— Like the Indian rhino, the Javan has a single horn. It is also called the lesser one-horned rhino. Javan rhinos are very rare in the heavily forested areas of Southeast Asia, and they are probably the rarest of the rhino species. Scientists have devised an interesting way of counting them. Throughout the rain forest, they have set up cameras with sensors. When the rhinos pass the sensor, the camera takes their picture! The scientists can then count them. Learning more about these jungle rhinos in the wild will help protect them from becoming extinct. Sadly, there are less than 50 Javan rhinos in the wild.

Sumatran rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis— This is the smallest and hairiest of the rhinos. Like the Javan rhino, it is critically endangered, with around 200 animals left in the world. Very little of its native habitat is left on the island of Sumatra. There has been little success in breeding this species in zoos.

The problems faced with the rhino Horns and poaching or rhinos
News from researchers in the field is that about 200 of Africa's rhinos have been killed by poachers in 2010. In India, 19 rhinos were poached, and in Nepal, 11 rhinos were poached in 2010. The increasing price paid for rhino horn used for dagger handles in the Middle East and for medicinal uses in Asia continue to encourage poachers to kill these magnificent animals just for their horns. The San Diego Zoo continues to support rhino conservation in every country that these animals are currently found.

Javan Rhino - population is less
than 60 individuals. Most of
 these rhinos are the Indonesian
Javan Rhino subspecies
Of the three Asian rhino species, two – Javan rhinos and Sumatran rhinos – are Critically Endangered. A subspecies of Javan rhino, recently re-discovered in Vietnam, only survives as a tiny remnant population, if at all.

Successful conservation efforts have seen the third species, the greater one-horned (or Indian) rhino increase in number, leading to a reclassification from Endangered to Vulnerable. Even so, the species is still poached for its horn.

Different subspecies of the two African rhino species are similarly faring differently.

Once thought to be extinct, southern white rhinos are now thriving in well-protected sanctuaries and are classified as Near Threatened. In contrast, the northern white rhino only survives as a remnant population of 4 individuals.

Black rhinos have also increased over the past decade or so, although total numbers are still a fraction of what they were 50 years ago and one subspecies is classified as Probably Extinct.

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Physical description

Rhinoceroses are universally recognized by their massive bodies, stumpy legs and either one or two dermal horns. In some species, the horns may be short or not obvious.

Although not inclined to approaching humans, rhinos may exhibit bursts of aggressiveness. Fortunately for their enemies, their poor eyesight prevents them from making targeted attacks. Their sense of smell and hearing however is well developed.

Rhinos mark their territory by depositing dung. During the day, the animals may rest several kilometers from their waterholes under dense cover, only becoming active in the evening, through the night, and in the early morning . Rhinos are known to sleep both standing and lying on the ground and are fond of wallowing in muddy pools and sandy river beds.

Threats to rhinos

Demand for rhino horn the greatest threat

Although international trade in rhino horn has been banned under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora) since 1977, demand remains high – fueling rhino poaching in both Africa and Asia.
Demand in Yemen for rhino horn dagger handles, worn as status symbols, grew in the 1970s and a 20-fold rise in the price of rhino horn had a devastating effect on rhino (mostly black) populations.
More on the poaching crisis in Africa

Rhino horn is also used in traditional Asian medicine to treat a variety of ailments. The major markets are China, Taiwan and South Korea.

Although some traditional medical practitioners are using alternatives, a TRAFFIC survey of medical practitioners showed that 60% stocked rhino horn and 27% maintained that it was essential to their work.
More on wildlife trade

Habitat loss another major concern
Rhinos are one of the "Big 5" animals popular on African safaris. They can therefore contribute to economic growth and sustainable development through the tourism industry, which creates job opportunities and provides tangible benefits to local communities living alongside rhinos.

In almost all rhino conservation areas, there are other valuable plants and animals. While protecting rhinos, other species such as elephant, buffalo, predators and small game are often also conserved.
Egrets and other birds can be found with rhinos, feeding on the species external parasites
Habitat loss also threatens rhinos, especially in southeast Asia and India, as human populations rise and forests are degraded or destroyed.
Important core conservation areas are increasingly isolated by logging, agricultural expansion, human settlements, road projects, and dam construction.
Rhino protection and conservation

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park has the largest crash of rhinos and the most successful captive breeding program for rhinos anywhere in the world. When the worldwide population of southern white rhinos numbered less than 2,000, a male at the Park sired 50 babies! Many black rhinos and greater one-horned rhinos have also been born here. In fact, one of the youngest calves is a fifth-generation greater one-horned rhino, the first such birth in the world! The San Diego Zoo also provide support and funding for rhino conservation efforts in India.

The first black rhino born at the San Diego Zoo was named Werikhe in honor of Michael Werikhe, “the rhino man.” Mr. Werikhe was a Kenyan conservationist known for his long "rhino walks” to educate people about the plight of the rhino and to raise money to support rhino reserves. He is a good example of what one person can do to make a difference! And because all rhino species are now endangered, they need our help to survive.

Visiting the San Diego Zoo or the Safari Park helps support a conservation project for the southern white rhinoceros. Although reproduction in zoos has been successful in the past, most females born in captivity have not reproduced. New research hopes to solve this mystery once and for all. To do this, researchers are taking their questions to rhino facilities around the world and to preserves with wild and semi-wild rhinos in South Africa, where they hope to find the answers they need to prevent the zoo populations from becoming extinct.

Facts about rhinos
• Don't be fooled by a rhino's lumbering size—a black rhino can thunder along at 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers per hour)!
• A group of rhinos is sometimes called a “crash”—an appropriate term for a large and ponderous animal that can crash through just about anything in its way.
• Rhinos may look indestructible, but their skin is actually quite sensitive, especially to sunburn and biting insects. That's why they like to wallow in mud.
• White rhinos have a hump of muscle on their necks and shoulders to hold up a head that can weigh 800 to 1,000 pounds (362 to 454 kilograms)!
• Do rhinos really put out fires in the wild? This is a popular legend that has inspired scenes in movies, descriptions in stories, and even the names of fire-fighting units, but there have been no actual recorded accounts of this happening.
• Finding a way to mimic the way rhino horn forms and repairs itself could lead to better impact-resistant bumpers for cars!

The white rhino is bigger than the black rhino
Black Rhino is more aggressive than the White Rhino.
The black and white rhino species derive their names, not
 from the colors of their coats but from the shape of mouths
The White has a square mouth, as compared
 to the black’s hooked lipped mouth.
The rhino has been poached to near-extinction around the world

Rhinos make their own sun block by wallowing
in mud and letting it dry. The dried mud also
protects them from some blood sucking insects
Rhinos have an well-developed sense of smell and hearing.

The Vietnamese Javan Rhino subspecies has 5 rhinos
and may not recover The Indian Javan Rhino is extinct