Less cheerful animal news this month – in early November it was announced that the western black rhinoceros is now officially extinct. After great efforts against poaching in Africa, the continent is currently experiencing a huge surge in poaching, with the result that almost 900 rhinos will have been poached in South Africa alone by the end of the year. This is up from just 13 rhinos in 2007; a shocking and dramatic rise. The black market value for horn is staggering; rhino horn is currently fetching more than gold and platinum. Conservationists are warning that other rhino species and sub-species are going to rapidly follow into extinction unless immediate action is taken.
Where you can currently see other sub-species of black rhino in the UK:
Chester Zoo is an active member of the European Endangered Species Programme for rhinoceros.
The Chester Zoo Black Rhino Programme started in 1999, in partnership with ‘Save the Rhino’, providing substantial financial support to the Kenya Wildlife Service. Black rhinos have been successfully bred at Chester for many years, and the decision was taken to expand the group due to its endangered status.
Visitors can book to feed the black rhino pair, Manyara (male) and Sita (female).
Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks
20 eastern black rhino across the two parks means that Howletts and Port Lympne hold the largest captive collection of black rhino outside of Africa. Since 2004, they have also returned eight animals to wild protected areas in South Africa and Tanzania.