Written by: Memory Mays and Jessica Sigle
One of our favorite days in the hoofed stock department at the Houston Zoo is quickly approaching. Some call it May 5th. Some call it Cinco de Mayo. But here, we like to call it Cinco de Rhino! Cinco de Rhino is a holiday celebrated by spreading the word about rhinos and rhino conservation. This means talking about the five rhino species. That’s right! It’s a perfectly named holiday to talk about the cinco (“five”) rhino species.
We have three male White Rhinos here at the Houston Zoo who are named George, Mumbles, and Indy. White rhinos have the highest population numbers of the five rhino species. Currently there are about 20,000 white rhinos. White rhinos are one of the two African species of rhinos. The other African species is called the Black Rhino. The black rhino is endangered and only numbering at about 5,000 individuals in the world.
There are 3 other species of rhinos you may not have heard of. These are the Javan, Sumatran, and Indian rhinos. All three of these actually come from Asia. You might not have heard of these animals because all three are critically endangered. Currently there are about 3,300 Indian rhinos, and it is estimated that there are less than 100 Sumatran rhinos, and only 40-45 Javan rhinos.
If you total these population numbers of these five species it equals to about 28,100 rhinos. That’s a pretty small number. The reason these animals are endangered is not only because of habitat destruction, but more because of illegal poaching for the rhino horn. Unfortunately, these amazing rhinos are being killed off a lot faster than they can reproduce. The best way you can help to save these rhinos is to help spread the word about rhinos and rhino conservation. Next time you visit the Houston Zoo, be sure to stop by our White Rhino exhibit to see 3 of the last 28,000 rhinos.