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The rhinoceros is one of the most endangered mammals on Earth. Weighing as much as a minibus this gentle herbivore is often thought to be a solitary and aggressive animal. Recent research has shown us that this is not true, rhinos are very sociable and often gather at water holes at night, greeting each other with gentle puffs from their nose!

Sadly, many people believe that rhino horn, when made into a powder, can cure a number of illnesses including cancer. This is NOT true. Rhino horn is made of keratin, the same material that our fingernails and hair are made of. However, the myth persists and in 2012 over 650 rhino were illegally killed in South Africa for their horn. The war against the poachers and the illegal trade is at an all-time high. If we are to save the rhino we need to act quickly.

Rhinoceros LOCATION

View Location from Google Earth

There are two African rhinos; the White rhino and the Black rhino, and three Asian rhinos; the one-horned Indian rhino, the Sumatran rhino and the Javan rhino. There are thought to be only about 35 Javan rhinos left on Earth. 

The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) works in Namibia to protect the Black rhino which has adapted to desert life and is the only truly wild rhino left in Africa.  In Assam, DSWF works to protect the largest remaining population of the rare one-horned Indian rhino. You can find out more about these projects by clicking on the links above.

Kaziranga National Park in Assam is the last stronghold of the one-horned Indian rhino.

Rhinoceros FACTS

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.

Black and White rhino are greyish in colour. The name 'White' comes from an African word meaning 'wide' because of the shape of the White rhino's lip. The White rhino is a grazer, eating mainly from the ground and the Black rhino is a browser, eating mainly from bushes and trees.

Don't be fooled by their size. Rhinos can run very fast - up to speeds of 45kmph and are surprisingly manoeuvrable. They have very bad eyesight but good hearing so don't ever walk up behind one!

The biggest threat to the survival of the rhino is the illegal trade in rhino horn. The horn can fetch huge sums of money on the black market meaning that more and more people are killing rhinos to make money. Being made of keratin (the same stuff that your hair and fingernails are made of) it actually has no value at all!

Female rhinos can breed every 2-4 years, pregnancy lasts for 15-16 months. They usually have one calf but there are some records of twins - which is very rare.

Sit back and watch


Video Updates

DSWF supports the forest rangers in Kaziranga National Park to protect the one-horned rhino.

How you can help the Rhino

You can help save the rhino by supporting the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation's work either by fundraising as a school or an individual, adopting the DSWF rhino or entering our annual art and poetry competition.


Photography courtesy of Piet Heyman, Michael Vickers and SRT

Video © BBC Saving Planet Earth

DSWF cannot take responsibility for pages maintained by external providers.




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