Forever Extinct #5 – African Black Rhino (Dicero bicornis).
The African Black Rhino’s story can gives us some hope, not too much though.
This beauty with a skin texture that makes me think of a living stone has been hunted almost to extinction for their horn: 96% of Black Rhinos were lost due to poaching between 1970 and 1992, because of relentless hunters from European settlers. Poachers kill them because their horns are highly prized on the black market (today their price is something like 100.000 US dollar per kilo) and used also in traditional Chinese medicine.
Black Rhino has a very poor eyesight – they cannot see more than 30 meters away, but instead has a great sense of smell, plus they can run quite fast, if considering their size – 1,5 meter per 1,4 tonnes: they can run 55 km/h, and they can also change direction quickly and surprisingly disappear in the bush. Their bigger horn is 50 cm long, they have a prehensile upper lip (and this is the actual peculiarity that is differentiating them from the white rhinos, since they all are same colour), which they use to feed on twigs of woody plants and on other kind of plants. Plus, apparently they love acacia.
Because of effective conservation efforts, the total number of black rhino increased again from less than 2,500 animals to 5,000, but still it remains a critically endangered species, and anyway three subspecies of black rhino are forever gone: they are the Southern-Central Balck Rino (D. b. minor), the Southern-Western Black Rhino (D. b. occidentalis) and the East African Black Rhino (D. b. michaelis).
They all rest in peace.
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