World Rhino Day: Saving Africa’s Bush Unicorn

Photo of author
Published On

I Love Veterinary blog is reader-supported, and we may earn a commission from products purchased through links on this page, at no additional cost to you. Learn more About Us and our Product Review Process >

When is World Rhino Day? 

World Rhino Day raises awareness of the five rhinoceros species and the efforts to rescue them. Rhino specialists always commemorate World Rhino Day annually on September 22, throughout the globe, since 2011. Also, the International Rhino Foundation honors the five species of rhinoceros and all people who care about them on World Rhino Day.


The Five Different Species of Rhinoceros

White Rhino

White rhinos are enormous animals, weighing roughly 3,527.3 pounds (1,600 kilograms) for females and 5,291.01 pounds (2,400 kilograms) for males. The shoulder height of rhinos ranges from 5.9 to 6 feet (29.8 to 29.87 meters), while their length is between 11 and 15 feet ( 3.35 and 4.57 meters). The front horn is larger than the back horn on the snout of the white rhinoceros. 

To maintain its head weight, the rhino has a noticeable muscular hump. Although having the name “white rhinoceros,” these animals are more often slate gray or yellowish brown. The ear fringes and tail bristles are where most of the body’s thinly scattered hair is. These rhinos graze using their recognizable flat, broad mouth.

Black Rhinoceros 

The black rhinoceros is a name to set it apart from the white rhinoceros, even though the color is not a true distinguishing factor. An adult black rhinoceros weighs between 1,873.9 and 3,527.3 pounds (850 and 1,600 kilograms), making it substantially lighter than the white rhinoceros. Also, males are larger than females. 

These rhinos grow to a shoulder height between 59 and 69 inches (149.8 and 175.2 centimeters) and a length between 11 and 13 feet (3.35 and 3.96 meters). Moreover, these rhinos have two horns, with the front horn longer than the other. 

Some could additionally have a third, smaller horn. The pointed mouth of the black rhino is crucial during feeding to grip twigs and leaves.

There are four subspecies of black rhinoceros. Among these subspecies are: South-Central, South-Western, East African, and West African black rhinoceros.

Javan Rhinoceros 

Like the Indian rhinoceros, the Javan rhinoceros likewise possesses a single horn. The rhino has hazy gray skin folded in the back, shoulders, and rump, giving it an armored appearance.

The Javan rhinoceros weigh between 1,984.1 and 3,086 pounds (900 kg and 1,400 kilograms) in weight. Females may have knobby horns or none at all, while male horns can develop to a length of 10.23 inches (26 centimeters). The Javan rhinoceros live in areas with long grass, reed beds, and deep lowland woods.

Indian Rhinoceros 

The larger one-horned rhinoceros, also known as the Indian rhinoceros, is almost as big as the African white rhinoceros. It has a single horn, and the body has thick, silver-brown skin creased into enormous folds. This kind of rhinoceros has thin body hair and wart-like lumps on its shoulders and upper legs. 

Males typically weigh between 5,511.5 and 7,054.7 pounds (2,500 and 3,200 kilograms), while females are about 4,188.7 pounds (1,900 kilograms). Although these rhinos originally roamed a vast area from Pakistan to China, their current range is very constrained. 

Sumatran Rhinoceros

Approximately 275 Sumatran rhinoceros are in the wild today, making them critically endangered. The species live in Borneo and Sumatra high-altitude environments. 

The shoulder height of a Sumatran rhinoceros is around 4 feet (1.2 meters) 3 inches (7.6 centimeters), and its length ranges from 7 feet (2.1 meters) 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) to 10 feet (3.04 meters) 6 inches (15.2 centimeters). 

The largest horn, measuring 9.84 to 31.1 inches (25 to 79 centimeters), is on the muzzle of the Sumatran rhinoceros. The Sumatran rhinos have a short, stubby body with reddish brown skin and a prehensile lip. It is the smallest and most hairy rhinoceros species still in existence. 

The Sumatran rhinoceros has three subspecies, including the West, Eastern, and Northern Sumatran rhinoceros.

How You Can Help Rhinos

Plan Anti-Poaching Demonstrations

On World Rhino Day, display your disapproval of poaching. It is possible to organize a non-violent protest to save rhinos during this rhino day.

Join or Start a Fundraiser

You can organize or join a fundraiser for equipping the anti-poaching squads. This would greatly contribute to the preservation of the rhino species.

Explore the Rhinoceros

You can only aid rhinos to the degree that you understand them. Furthermore, you can observe this day by learning all about rhinos. 

Rhino horn

The Origins of World Rhino Day

World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa first announced World Rhino Day in 2010, and the first event was on September 22, 2011. To make this day a success internationally in 2011, Lisa Jane Campbell and Rhishja Cota of the Chishakwe Ranch in Zimbabwe worked together. They checked for ideas both online and offline.

To find effective ways to stop rhino poaching and possibly save endangered species, it was essential to bring together cause-related organizations, wildlife conservation centers, NGOs, zoos, and concerned individuals.

In South Africa, home to more than 70% of the world’s rhino population, more than 7,000 black rhinos perished due to poaching between 2008 and 2017. The African black rhino species has been extinct since 2011. 

Anti-poaching measures have been unsuccessful since most poachers possess high-tech weapons and are too greedy to see the suffering they cause the helpless animals. Therefore, World Rhino Day is the ideal occasion for all to take a stand against the rhino horn trade and promote rhino conservation.

What are the Differences Between White and Black Rhinos?

White rhinos are typically much larger than black rhinos. Their bodies are long, imposing, and barrel-shaped. Black rhinos, on the other hand, are shorter and more compact. An adult white rhino can weigh up to 5,070.6 pounds ( 2,300 kilograms), whereas a black rhino rarely weighs more than 2,204.6 pounds (1,000 kilograms).

The following are other differences between the two rhinos:

  • White rhinos have broad and flat lips for grazing, while black rhinos have pointed lips for feeding on branches and leaves.
  • White rhinos have small eyes and weakened necks. On the other hand, black rhinos have strong necks for carrying their heads up while feeding on trees.
  • White rhinos have very long and tubular ears, while black rhinos have small round ears.
  • White rhinos have a long front horn and a short second horn. However, both black rhinos’ horns are shorter than white rhinos’. 
  • In terms of habitat, you can find white rhinos in fields and grassland. However, black rhinos live in dense brush because of their food preferences.
  • In terms of their behavior, black rhinos are more territorial and aggressive than their white counterparts.

How Many Rhinoceros are Left in the World?

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, only about 27,000 rhinos are alive in the wild.

Are Rhinos Aggressive?

Rhinos are aggressive, especially if you approach them too closely. But, their shyness and desire for seclusion allow them to roam freely. These aspects cause rhinos to act most of the time aggressively. However, black rhinos are more aggressive than white rhinos.

Do All Rhinoceros Have Two Horns?

White, black, and Sumatran rhinos have two horns. However, Javan rhinos only have one horn.

Other Cool Facts You Didn’t Know About Rhinos

The following are some of the cool facts about rhinos:

  • Rhinos are partly blind and can hardly make out anything 98 feet (29.8 meters) away.
  • Their horns consist of keratin and not bones.
  • They exclusively eat grass, leaves, and branches.
  • They have small brains.
  • They are swift animals that move quickly on land and can turn quickly in small places.

The Importance of World Rhino Day

It Saves Their Lives

The purpose of World Rhino Day is to preserve the remaining five rhino species. Three of these species, the black, Javan, and Sumatran, are critically endangered.

It Educates

World Rhino Day is an amazing opportunity to learn about these magnificent animals. This unofficial holiday triggers the interest and urges necessary for studying rhinos.

Rhino animal

The End

All the rhino species mentioned above are species that are in great danger of extinction. The primary cause of the extinction of these enormous animals has been the demand for rhino horns used to make traditional medicines in China and Vietnam. 

The allure of large sums of money has led to the indiscriminate killing of these animals because contemporary medical research deems it to be invalid. Other factors that have accelerated the extinction of wild rhinos include habitat degradation, habitat fragmentation, and competitive grazing. 

So, to restore rhino world populations to sustainable levels, providing the highest level of protection to the remaining rhinos worldwide is important. Read our article and find out about World Mosquito Day.

Sharing is caring!

Photo of author


Project dedicated to support and help to improve Veterinary Medicine. Sharing information and raising discussions in the veterinary community.