This is both perfectly natural behavior for rhinos and very unnatural at the same time. The populations of both white and black rhinos have been severely reduced over recent decades. Hunting for their horns has played a huge part in this reduction. Therefore, conservationists are removing rhino horns so they are no longer a target for hunters. However, it can lead to some quite confusing situations for the animals. Scroll down to see these two inflict less damage on each other than they thought they were going to!
How Many Rhinos Are Left on the Planet?
The white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) can be divided into the northern and southern subspecies. In the 1960s, there were over 2,000 northern white rhinos but that has been reduced to just two by 2018 are they may be extinct. The southern white rhino is faring better. In 2015 there were approximately 20,000 of them. They are classed as near threatened by the IUCN.
The black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) numbered around 850,000 during the 1800s. They reached an all-time low during the 1990s when there were only around 2,400 of them left. Thanks to conservation efforts, there are now over 4,500 of them living in the wild. They are classed as critically endangered by the IUCN.
Where Do Rhinos Normally Live?
White rhinos live in two separate populations in Africa. The northern white rhino was last seen in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The southern white rhino is found in South Africa and 50 percent of the population is found in the Kruger National Park.
Black rhinos are found in sub-Saharan Africa in countries including Namibia, South Angola, west Botswana, and southwest South Africa.
What Threatens Rhino Numbers?
Rhinos are very vulnerable to poaching. They have poor eyesight and cannot see the hunters coming. Historically they did not have any predators and therefore they do not have the sensory capability to run away. In recent years, however, they are learning how to avoid danger. They are also large and fairly sedentary creatures so they are not exactly difficult to keep up with.
Their horns are highly prized. They are used in traditional medicines where they are believed to help anything from fevers to keeping evil away. They have also been used to make carved cups and dagger handles.
Most horn products are sold in China and Taiwan, but some are sold in Burma, Thailand, and Nepal. In some areas, conservation efforts are hampered by civil wars and political instability.
Watch the Incredible Clip Below
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Jurgens Potgieter/Shutterstock.com
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