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Taronga Zoo highlights continued threat to the Rhino

Taronga Zoo highlights continued threat to the Rhino
September 22, 2019

On this World Rhino Day, Sunday 22nd September 2019, Taronga Western Plains Zoo highlights the continued threat to the Rhino while also celebrating the day with the naming of their White Rhino, Meeka, meaning brave and strong-hearted, which is of African origin.

Despite rhinos having roamed the earth for 14 million years, in this present day there’s a very real threat that the last five remaining species may become extinct.

Taronga Zoo as a founding member of the International Rhinoceros Foundation (IRF) help fund monitoring and anti-poaching patrols in Zimbabwe as well as providing veterinary treatment and rescue at-risk rhinos, moving them to safer grounds.

Due to these intensive efforts, the Zimbabwe population of Black Rhinos is now the fourth largest African population.

Cameron Kerr, Director and Chief Executive Taronga Conservation Society Australia notes "alarmingly, well-equipped, sophisticated organised crime syndicates have killed more than 800 African rhinos in the past three years - just for their horns. 

“The horns now hold a greater street value than gold and it has become the new cocaine, the white powder of choice for the social elite in some overseas countries. It’s thought that the horns can cure cancer, are powerful aphrodisiacs and can treat a number of ailments, but the horns are made out of keratin. They have no medicinal powers at all and would have the same effect if we ground up our fingernails and swallowed them.”

Kerr adds "the numbers of rhinos being poached each year isn’t sustainable. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the Sumatran Rhinoceros as one of the 100 most threatened species across the world that would disappear from our world altogether if nothing was done to protect them.

“At Taronga (Zoo), we are serious about wildlife conservation and are working hard to help rhinoceros through our Zoos’ programs and also in the wild.

“Our vets, pathologists and reproductive biologists are also working closely with the staff of Indonesia’s Way Kambas Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary.”

Related Articles

2nd September 2019 - Sydney Zoo announces arrival of first animals in newly completed African precinct

28th August 2019 - Sydney’s Taronga Zoo prepares to open new luxury lodge

12th August 2019 - Taronga Western Plains Zoo celebrates Elephant Day

17th June 2019 - Taronga Zoo launches ‘Litter Free Rivers’ campaign

2nd June 2019 - Taronga Zoo helps educate students on protection of endangered species

5th December 2018 - Taronga Zoo helps advance understanding of protected species

25th November 2017 - Indian national park gives rangers shoot-to-kill powers in bid to protect endangered rhinoceros

11th July 2016 - Hamilton Zoo announces birth of white rhinoceros baby

10th June 2016 - First Australian bred one-horned rhinoceros makes public debut

11th April 2016 - Rare Rhinoceros to be relocated from Africa to Australia in a world-first conservation move

13th October 2015 - Australia Zoo welcomes another baby rhinoceros

16th September 2015 - Monarto Zoo welcomes birth of southern white rhinoceros

22nd May 2013 - Taronga Western Plains Zoo celebrates remarkable birth of White Rhino calf

15th April 2013 - Rhino sculpture marks links between Dubbo and Taronga Western Plains Zoo

2nd April 2012 - White rhino deaths baffle staff at Dubbo’s Western Plains Zoo

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