The rhino is one of the most endangered species in the world. Poachers often target them for their horns, which are in high demand in Asian markets. The horns are used to make jewelry and some smuggled to regions where they are used to make herbal medicine. Science has however proved that rhino horns are biologically made of keratin, the same matter that makes human hair and fingernails. The medicinal value is, therefore, a flimsy myth, which has led to the near demise of one of nature’s most majestic creatures.
Despite the low numbers, their species boasts of five varieties of rhino: Sumatran, Javan, great one-horned, Black and White rhinos. Their dwindling numbers saw many countries make efforts towards securing their survival against poachers. In Kenya, the World Rhino Day was marked on 22nd September 2017 with an emphasis on this year’s theme of “Extinction is Forever, Time for Action is Now.”
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy celebrated the fourth in a row of declining rhino poaching. There are currently 157 rhino, predominantly the black and white rhinos, as of September 2017. Another conservancy is the Sera Conservancy in Samburu County that has a Sanctuary with 12 black rhinos.
The collaboration between the government, conservationists, and local communities has seen poaching curbed and reduced to nearly zero. The local communities are sensitized on the importance of wild animals to the environment.
There are currently 1,149 rhinos in Kenya, the third highest in Africa after South Africa and Namibia. Half of these are found in Laikipia County. Stakeholders have invested some eco-friendly resources in the area to allow visitors and tourists to come and appreciate these rhinos in their natural habitat. Some of the best accommodations allow guests to witness the efforts that go into conservation, give room for input that will help sustain the welfare of wildlife as well as improve rhino populations.