Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Dragon Sensory Hours: The dragons will be asleep from 2 to 4:30 p.m. daily.

Horns of (Not So) Plenty

World Rhino Day is celebrated every year on September 22, and although we do not have rhinos at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, we want to celebrate by sharing some information with you! There are five species of rhino worldwide; Sumatran, Javan, Black, Greater One-horned, and White. Though numbers are very slowly increasing for some of these species, all except the White Rhino are considered critically endangered, with Sumatran and Javan numbers being under 80 individuals left in the wild. Their main threats include habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and poaching. Though rhino horn is primarily made up of keratin (a protein found in hair, fingernails and hooves), there is a demand in some cultures to use it in traditional medicine. On average, three rhinos are illegally poached every day in Africa for their horns. 

Rhino are not the only animals negatively affected by illegal wildlife trade. Tiger, African elephants, Musk deer, Abalone, Pangolin, Hawksbill sea turtles, Rosewood trees and over 7,000 more species are directly affected by illegal poaching. But there are ways that you can help! When you travel, it is important to be aware of the souvenirs that you are purchasing. Ivory, turtle shell, pelts, skins, feathers and bones are sold in many markets and often attract tourists. These items are usually obtained illegally and purchasing them creates a demand for poachers to take animals from the wild. By purchasing local crafts and clothing that do not include animal parts when you travel, you can support the local economy without encouraging wildlife trafficking! And remember that it is OK to ask questions about items that you are unsure of!

To learn more about how you can help Rhinos in the wild, visit:

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