Photo: Clockwise, from upper left: Greater one-horned rhino, Sumatran rhino, black rhino, white rhino.
If you love rhinos, you’ll be excited to know that World Rhino Day is almost here!
September 22nd marks the Second Annual World Rhino Day – a tradition established last year by WWF as an opportunity for people all over the world to take a stand against rhino poaching and the illegal trade in rhino horn.
US-based Saving Rhinos LLC (that’s me) and Zimbabwe-based Chishakwe Ranch are working together to continue the World Rhino Day tradition in 2011.
Co-organizer Lisa-Jane Campbell of Chishakwe Ranch noted on the Saving Species blog that one of the main aims of this year’s World Rhino Day is to debunk the myths that fuel the demand for horn and the killing of rhinos.
“Rhino horn has no medicinal value, despite the long held belief to the contrary. Rhino are dying for nobody’s benefit – except that of the criminals involved in the poaching rings.”
Cause-related organizations, NGOs, zoos, and members of the public are encouraged to celebrate these magnificent pachyderms with both offline and online activities.
The total population of all five rhino species is now estimated to be just over 28,000. Javan rhinos are the least numerous, with only 48 individuals surviving.
Looking for inspiration? Check out what is happening around the world so far:
- USA: Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is having a fundraising party and art contest (more to follow on this!)
- Nepal: PARC/Nepal is putting up World Rhino Day posters and engaging in public awareness activities with local communities in the Chitwan National Park Buffer Zone.
- Zimbabwe: Chishakwe Ranch is working directly with village schools, getting the children involved with projects, such as creating rhino posters.
- Southeast Asia: TRAFFIC Southeast Asia is featuring rhinos in September, as part of their “Twelve in Trouble” online awareness campaign.
- World-renowned Save the Rhino International is announcing World Rhino Day to subscribers in the September edition of their ezine, RhiNews.
A great list of fundraising suggestions are can be found at “Are you looking for a way to make a difference?” on the International Rhino Foundation website.
You can also find additional ideas for World Rhino Day on my blog and watch the video “Get Ready for World Rhino Day 2011” here.
To stay informed and share plans for the Big Day, visit the World Rhino Day 2011 page set up on Facebook®.
Learn more about rhino horn on the Citizen Blog at “Scientific Studies Find No Medicinal Value in Rhino Horn.”
Photo credits: Photo #1 (clockwise from upper left): Suman Bhattarai (PARC/Nepal); Bruce1ee [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons; black and white rhino © iStockphoto.com. Photo #2: © iStockphoto.com
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