World Rhino Day is marked annually on 22 September.
Following are significant facts about the animal known as the rhinoceros.
- Rhinoceros is a Greek term meaning ‘nose-horned’;
- There are five (5) species of rhino in the world: The Javan rhino, the Sumatran rhino, the greater one-horned rhino, the black rhino and the white rhino;
- Black and white rhino are African rhino species, while the Javan, Sumatran and greater one-horned rhinos are Asian species;
- Black and white rhinos are native to Namibia;
- According to Save the Rhino there are only 72 Javan rhinos and less than 80 Sumatran rhinos left in the world;
- The are two subspecies of the white rhino: The Northern white rhino and the Southern white rhino;
- There are only two (2) Northern white rhinos left in the world, and both are female. In contrast, the Southern white rhino population numbers between 17,000 and 19,000;
- The global black rhino population numbers between 5,300 and 5,700;
- Namibia has the largest black rhino population in the world and the second largest white rhino population, behind South Africa;
- The rhinoceros is classified as a ‘high value species’ in Namibia;
- The black rhino is listed as ‘critically endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the white rhino as ‘near threatened’ by the same body;
- According to the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, from 2015 to end 2019, 332 rhinos were poached in Namibia;
- Since mid-2018, the Intelligence and Investigation Unit (IIU), in the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, and the Protected Resources Division (PRD) of the Namibian Police Force (NAMPOL), have been engaged in an anti-rhino poaching operation titled ‘Operation Blue Rhino’, which is also supported by units of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF).
For more information on the state of the global rhino population, visit the website of Save the Rhino.