Did You Know? Part 2

Taken from the Cotswold Wildlife Park website:

  • White rhinos have two horns; the front horn is longer and can grow up to 150 cm long! The rhino’s horn is made out of keratin, the same substance that makes up human hair and fingernails.
  • This species often bathes in mud to cool off and to get rid of external parasites.
  • Poachers have long hunted the white rhino for its very valuable horn, which in some cultures is thought to have medicinal effects. In some reserves, game rangers will actually remove a rhino’s horn and may even replace it with a fake one to try to deter poachers.
  • The name “white” rhino doesn’t actually refer to their colour but to the Afrikaans word “widje,” meaning “wide” and referring to the wide mouth of the rhino.
  • In the early 1900s only about 20 Southern White Rhinos remained after being wiped out by hunters and farmers. This made them the rarest subspecies of any rhino at this time. Excellent and sustained protection has now boosted their population so that this is now the most common of all the rhino subspecies. There are now some 11,600 wild southern white rhinos and 767 individuals in zoos. They have more numbers of this subspecies of white rhino than all the other four species of rhino combined.
  • White rhinos can’t see very well and rely strongly on their sense of smell. In fact, the part of the brain responsible for smell is larger than the rest of the brain combined!
  • Although they look slow and cumbersome, rhinos can reach speeds of 25 miles per hour, make sharp turns and stop dead.
  • Rhinos really are fascinating creatures! Remember that ‘JustGiving’ button on the right hand side and lets help save them! 🙂

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