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Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Cinco de Rhino!

One reason rhinoceroses are especially celebrated on 5/5 is that there are now five distinct species of rhinoceros in the world. Sadly, some are barely hanging on and all the species come closer to extinction every day. Some estimates give us, the crazy humans, until just 2020 to see a live rhino in the wild.

This would not be the ideal outcome. Aside from being gentle, majestic creatures, rhinos are key species in each ecosystem in which they live. If the rhinos are gone, the entire ecosystem collapses.

Five species forever!

The white rhinoceros, a mellow grazer and the second largest
land mammal in the world.

The beautifully proportioned black rhinoceros, with a prehensile lip.


The Sumatran rhinoceros, the smallest species, descends
from the ancient wooly rhino.

The elusive Javan rhinoceros has never
been successfully housed in zoos.

The Greater One-Horned or Indian rhinoceros is today’s unicorn.
(I’m proud to say this photo of mine made it into this year’s
International Rhino Keepers Association Calendar.
Not the main picture of the month, but still.)
Each species makes a unique contribution to the world. So, on this Cinco de Rhino, my husband suggests taking a favorite rhino you know out for margaritas and tacos. Or, a good equivalent might be to find out a little more about rhinos and what people are doing to help them.


For more about Cinco de Rhino, World Rhino Day (in September) and other rhinoceros events, check out www.rhinos.org.