Facts about rhino
The rhinoseros is prized for its horn. The horn is not a true one but is made of thickly matted hair that grows from the skull without skeletal support. The major demand for rhino horn is in Asia, where it is used in traditional medicine and ornamental carvings.
In the wild, the adult black or white rhino has no true natural predators and, despite its size and it's fierce reputation, is extremely easy for man to kill.
It is a creature of habit that stays within a well-defined home range and usually goes to water holes daily, where it is easily ambushed. The dramatic decline in rhino numbers is slowly being reversed. Efforts are underway to save the rhino from extinction.
In the early 1970's, 700 black rhinos grazed the Serengeti plains, but by 1995 the poachers had devastated the rhino population and only three remained. In Ngorongoro the numbers also declined from 100 rhino in the 1960's to 13 in 1994.
Protection initiatives were started in 1994. Trained anti-poaching units were formed to protect the remaining rhinos and new stock arrived from zoo rhino exchanges and other rhino populated areas.
At Moru, in Serengeti National Park, with constant surveillance and tourism restrictions, the project is succeeding to restore the rhino population.
Within Ngorongoro the rhino numbers are still low but the sheer crater walls and excellent food resources within the Crater give the population a very good chance of survival.
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