Western Browsing Rhino Is No More

This refers to a subspecies of “Black Rhino” also known as the “browsing rhino.”

The Western Black Rhino of Africa was declared officially extinct Thursday by a leading conservation group.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature said that two other subspecies of rhinoceros were close to meeting the same fate.

The Northern White Rhino of central Africa is now “possibly extinct” in the wild and the Javan Rhino “probably extinct” in Vietnam, after poachers killed the last animal there in 2010.
A small but declining population survives on the Indonesian island of Java.

msnbc

Black rhinos are fairly aggressive towards humans. I knew one who was hand reared and very friendly … you could and feed it and pet it and stuff. It lived at a non-profit/private reserve and tourists could park in the nearby lot and go over and see this rhino, as well as a white rhino also hand reared.

Last time I was there both rhinos were gone. The white rhino had been released into the wild and had started her own family. Here’s a picture I took of her when I caught up to her. (Which wasn’t hard, white rhinos are easy to find since they like open country where grass grows.)

The black rhino had been shot. One day he unexpectedly burst through the fence and went on a rampage. He didn’t hurt anyone but he did damage all the cars in the parking lot.

Here is his picture from when he was still alive.

Comments

  1. #1 StevoR
    November 12, 2011

    RIP Black Rhino. Saddened to hear this.

    How many more species will fall victim to us – and what can we do to stop it?

  2. #2 informania
    November 12, 2011

    Well, for one we could stop killing them for acts of vandalism..

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    November 12, 2011

    Informania: The owners resisted and tried to not let that happen, but the government authorities have strict rules bout what happens to animals that are in captivity. Personally, I think they should have just released the animal then tracked it for a few weeks or months to see how its behavior changed in the wild … this was a male by the way. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in that reserve and have seen a black rhino exactly once, at a great distance, and it was trying very hard to avoid me. That’s their main behavior (avoidance). If this rhino didn’t try to avoid people and instead pursued them (to get its ear scratched) then it might have become a dangerous animal. People camp here and stuff.

    Of course, they could also have released it on a nearby hunting preserve to see how it treated leopard hunters. That would have been interesting.

  4. #4 Achrachno
    November 12, 2011

    I wondered if this was extinct in the wild but if there might still be some in zoos.

    According to Wikipedia: “No animals are known to be held in captivity.”

    That’s it. Gone.

  5. #5 Stephanie
    November 12, 2011

    Hmmmmm I have heard fo guard mules for goats, but a guard rino for leopards? It definately has possabilities.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    November 12, 2011

    OK, where are the guard mules for goats? I know of a guard horse for cattle.

    And of course there are guard ostriches for cattle as well.

  7. #7 StevoR
    November 13, 2011

    @ ^ Greg Laden | November 12, 2011 8:43 PM

    Plus Alpaccas act as guards for sheep in Australia too – the Alpaccas will actually kill feral foxes that threaten the sheep.

    @Achrachno | November 12, 2011 8:30 PM :

    According to Wikipedia: “No animals are known to be held in captivity.”
    That’s it. Gone.

    Durn. I know some envronmentalists seem to have an irrational dislike of zoos but given the choice between alive in captivity and extincty altogether I have to say that when an animal’s numbers fall to a mere vulnerable handful I reckon its the best idea to capture the survivors and put them into a good zoo under guard and with a good breeding program to keep the species going.

    If memory serves, Zoos have already saved a number of endangered species from extinction incl. Perewalskis Horse (Spelling?), the American Buffalo / bison and, perhaps also, the famous giant panda.

    Zoos also allow people to see and learn about endangered animals and create more of a connection whereas if no-one has heard of or knows about a wonderful creature folks aren’t going to care as much – even at all – if it vanishes forever.

    Thus we need more and better zoos everywhere, IMHON.

    (In-My-Humble-Opinion-Naturally.)

  8. #8 StevoR
    November 13, 2011

    Thinking conservation efforts here’s one :

    http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2010/s3007643.htm

    via ABC’s Foreign Correspondent show that may be of special interest for you Greg.

    They showed it on Aussie TV recently – must have been a replay.

  9. #9 StevoR
    November 13, 2011

    See :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri6o-Uc7ohw

    for a glimpse of that Bonobos ep. on Foreign Correspondent &

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzTXMx-mLXQ

    &

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzFvZgjvTEE&feature=related

    Was hoping to find the whole thing online but alas, seems its not.

  10. #10 Achrachno
    November 13, 2011

    StevoR “Durn. I know some envronmentalists seem to have an irrational dislike of zoos but given the choice between alive in captivity and extincty altogether I have to say that when an animal’s numbers fall to a mere vulnerable handful I reckon its the best idea to capture the survivors and put them into a good zoo under guard and with a good breeding program to keep the species going.”

    and

    “Zoos also allow people to see and learn about endangered animals and create more of a connection whereas if no-one has heard of or knows about a wonderful creature folks aren’t going to care as much – even at all – if it vanishes forever.”

    I agree, except on the tiny point that I think it’s “animals rights” activists rather environmentalists who object to zoos. Environmentalists almost always argue exactly as you and I do and support programs to breed endangered species for reintroduction, and such.

  11. #11 Achrachno
    November 13, 2011

    Greg “OK, where are the guard mules for goats?”

    Here’s a link with info on the topic.

    http://linda-ashar.suite101.com/guard-donkeys-mules-protect-against-predators-a189778

  12. #12 Mark LaRoux
    November 14, 2011

    When do we finally admit that we need to move ‘highly’ endangered species that are easily poached into another country to keep them safe for a next generation. Not only the animal’s next generation, but the human’s next generation (let the poachers die off and try again later). More eyes on a species is a good thing, and things seem to always go wrong ‘in the dark’ in some remote area. Why set ourselves up for this?

  13. #13 dora_game
    November 15, 2011

    Environmentalists almost always argue exactly as you and I do and support programs to breed endangered species for reintroduction, and such.

  14. #14 GaryU
    November 15, 2011

    This makes official what we already suspected from a search in 2006.

    The linked to / quoted article is confusing, though, in that it refers to three subspecies of rhino, but they are not three subspecies of the same species. They don’t even share Genera.

  15. #15 Greg Laden
    November 15, 2011

    Gary, that is confusing. The should prob refer to “populations” and then have a table giving genera/species/subspp names.

  16. #16 mo
    November 16, 2011

    But other black rhino populations are not extinct yet?

  17. #17 GaryU
    November 16, 2011

    @mo: Correct, there are still other populations of Black Rhino. I’m not an expert – I just read Wikipedia.

    The Black Rhino species is Diceros bicornis. There were four subspecies, one of which was the West African. That’s the one that has been declared extinct.

    There are still the South-central, South-western, and East African subspecies.

    The Northern White mentioned above is a subspecies of Ceratotherium simum. According to Wikipedia, the only remaining are in captivity. There is a second subspecies of White rhino, the Southern (you didn’t see that name coming, did ya?)

    And the Javan mentioned is Rhinoceros sondaicus. There were three subspecies (Indonesian Javan, Vietnamese, and Indian Javan). Indonesian is likely the only still surviving subspecies. “The population is now confined to as few as 40 animals in the wild, Ujung Kulon National Park on the western tip of the island of Java.”

    I’ll confuse you by mentioning a sister species: Rhinoceros unicornis which is called the Indian Rhino (not mentioned in the article anywhere). But it’s not the same as the Indian Javan I mentioned in the last paragraph.

    All rhinos belong to the family Rhinocerotidae. In addition to Ceratotherium, Diceros, and Rhinoceros, there is one more genus: Dicerorhinus. One species still survives: the Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis).

    So there you have it. The five extant species of rhino. Thank you, Wikipedia!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhinocerotidae

  18. #18 TTT
    November 17, 2011

    StevoR: environmentalists tend not to have a problem with zoos. However, many endangered species have a problem with zoos–they can’t survive there. Captive breeding has a failure right above 50%; that’s why most zoos have the same “catalogue” of animals, because those are the ones that can manage it.

    It’s a useful tool when it works, but can’t be presumed in advance.

  19. Declining planet earth, the human is the worst virus that exists in the face of the earth.
    We believe we are an intelligent race, but we are the only planet that destroys its disastrous speed.

  20. #20 Jack
    November 19, 2011

    Beautifull animals, so primeval.. like they could have been here from the pre-history.

  21. #21 Paula Helm Murray
    November 19, 2011

    That is a huge pity. And makes me even sadder to see programs talking about all rhino’s ‘solitary habit’, that animals live separate except for mating.

    I grew up watching Osa and Martin Johnson films from the 19203-1930s. Rhinos lived in herds like a lot of other hoofstock until their numbers were so diminished.

    The globalization of the economy and the pernicious belief of the Chinese that anything rare or possibly endangered corrects potency in men have led to the destruction of these animals as well as tigers. What will they choose when they cannot get rhino horn?

    Sigh.

  22. #22 NJ
    November 19, 2011

    PHM @ 21:

    What will they choose when they cannot get rhino horn?

    Human Horn?

  23. #23 OxyHood
    November 20, 2011

    Good effort!

    from
    http://www.oxyhood.com

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