In news- World Rhino Day is celebrated on September 22 every year
This year’s theme: ‘Keep the Five Alive’.
History of World Rhino Day-
- The day was first announced by WWF-South Africa in 2010.
- Since 2011 the World Rhino Day has grown into an international success, encompassing both African and Asian rhino species.
- It was popularized by two dedicated women, identified as Rhishja Cota and Lisa Jane Campbell.
- The day aims to raise awareness about the African and Asian species of rhinos and encourage people to take steps for their conservation.
- It is a day of awareness for all five species of rhinoceroses – black and white (in Africa), and greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan (in Asia).
Burning of Rhino horns-
- The “world’s largest stockpile” of rhino horns was consigned to flames in eastern Assam’s Bokakhat, the headquarters of the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve, amid Vedic rituals.
- The event timed with the World Rhino Day was aimed at dispelling myths that have driven the illegal horn trade and the poaching of the animal.
- This event seeks to convey to the world that rhino horns are just a mass of compacted hair and they have no medicinal value.
- It was the second such mass-burning of animal body parts in eastern India.
- A stockpile of rhino horns and elephant tusks was burnt in West Bengal’s Chilapatha forest (Alipurduar district) in 2005-06.
- Three species of Rhino – Black, Javan, and Sumatran are critically endangered.
- Recently Sumatran rhinoceros has become extinct in Malaysia, after the death of the last rhino in the country.
- It is the smallest of all rhino species.
- Now only about 80 of them are left in Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia.
- A small population of Javan rhinos is found in only one national park on the northern tip of the Indonesian island of Java.
- In Africa, Southern white rhinos, once thought to be extinct, now thrive in protected sanctuaries and are classified as near threatened.
- They are also known as the “Square-lipped rhino” (‘mowing-machines).
- But the western black rhino and northern white rhinos have recently become extinct in the wild.
- Black rhinos are the smaller of the two African species.
- The greater one-horned rhino, sometimes known as the Indian rhino, is increasing in number in India as a result of conservation initiatives.
- There are currently around 3,500 of these rhinos.
Extra Reading: https://journalsofindia.com/indian-rhino-vision-2020irv2020/