The western black rhino has almost certainly become extinct in the last few years. Act for Wildlife and our partners are fighting to save the eastern black rhino, now the most threatened of the existing black rhino sub species, from the same fate.
During the last century no rhino species has suffered more terribly at the hands of poachers than the black rhino. Around 96% of the population was lost.
The last few decades of dedicated conservation action have seen numbers slowly rise, however in the last few years rhinos are again being killed in the hundreds each year due to an increasing upsurge in poaching.
Now, we have to fight to save the eastern black rhino, or lose them forever. The latest estimates are that only around 700 of these animals remain in the wild.
Armed with snares and guns, poachers kill rhinos for their horns, which they sell on the black market for traditional Asian medicines, and for ornaments. And they’re getting smarter, better funded and more organised. They’re finding ways to remove the horn quicker to avoid being caught. In some cases, they don’t even wait for the rhino to die before hacking away the horn.
Poachers are ruthless, and being a rhino ranger or game scout is a very dangerous job. But thanks to intensive anti-poaching activity, and better community education, we have a chance to protect the remaining eastern black rhinos in the wild.
Chester Zoo works with several partners in East Africa to protect and manage important black rhino populations, and by supporting Act for Wildlife you can are also supporting these projects.
With World Rhino Day came some really exciting news from one of the projects we’re supporting to protect the remaining population of Sumatran rhinos. And we couldn’t wait to share the news with you too!
Today is all about celebrating rhinos, all five species of rhino - black, white, greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran rhinos. Even though it’s a day of celebrating, it’s also a day of raising awareness to highlight just how serious the situation is for these animals.
We're sorry to be the bearer of bad news on a Friday afternoon, but we're in need of your amazing support!