Deep within the tamed African preserves, roams the last of their kind Northern White Rhino’s. This rare species is unfortunately critically endangered and remains under tight round-the-clock protection where they hold their species’ last ground. At the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, East Africa, the last surviving female Northern White Rhino can be found gracefully living out its years surrounded by gunmen.
Here are 7 interesting facts about the Northern White Rhino to pick your brain with;
1. They are actually not white but grey
The Dutch are said to have contributed to the misunderstanding in the English naming of this rhino. Owing to the extensive nature of the rhino’s mouth, they were named wijde, which is Dutch for wide. That Dutch name sounds eerily close to how someone would say the word “white,” and for that, the rhinos were named the Northern White Rhinos even though they are grey in color. There is no going back from this.
2. They have evolved
The northern white rhino has distinguished itself from other rhino’s adopting a wider mouth, giving it capabilities to graze as opposed to sorting among leaves. This indicates evolutionary evidence showing how animals will adopt in an attempt at optimal survival. By making this adaptation, the northern white rhino can optimally survive while conveniently grazing on their favorite vegetation to maximum satisfaction.
3. Third largest land mammal
Impressively weighing anywhere between 1.7 tonnes to 2.4 tonnes, this heavyweight can only be dwarfed by the unparalleled African elephant or the rare African giant hippo. Sadly, as much as the northern white rhino makes the list of Africa’s largest animals, and as much as they are considerably faster than the average person, they are seemingly no match for the inhumane poachers who are after their horns.
4. The last of the male Northern white rhinos died in 2018
There are, unfortunately, none of any known male northern white rhinos left on earth. In March 2018, the last known northern white rhino passed away in Sudan, leaving behind two females which had collectively made three of the last of their entire species.
5. Rhino horns are poached for traditional medicinal purposes
In the Asian community, rhino horns are considered of immeasurable value to traditional practitioners. The horns are used in preparing traditional medicines widely considered by the Asian people to be useful in various healing procedures. This has inadvertently caused increasing poaching levels thanks to the traditionally guided rhino horn demand.
6. World’s rarest rhino
The only physically direct evidence of the Northern White Rhino lives at the Ol Pejeta Reserve in Kenya, East Africa. Considering the already deteriorating nature in the numbers of rhinos remaining on earth, the Northern White Rhino is actually the rarest of them all. It could be because of their unique wide mouth adaptation that has allowed them to graze conveniently, or it could be because of their names. The Northern White Rhino is a highlight species of its kind.
7. They Face almost certain extinction
The Northern White Rhino is inevitably losing the battle against the vile vice that is poaching. The selfish demand for rhino horns by humans has seen a sharp decline in their numbers all over the world. With the last of the male northern white rhino perishing in Sudan, chances of certainty of a future generation for this special species seem even the more unlikely. There have been commendable efforts in trying to save this species from extinction, including scientific efforts. It is, however, looking bleak for the African giant.
There is much to appreciate in our world. The Northern White Rhino serves as a testament to the majesty that can become of nature. An animal expressing sheer brute force just from their appearance, yet gentle and majestic in their manner. A gentle beast indeed.