ROYAL OAK — Southern white rhinoceroses Jasiri, 18, and Tamba, 17, will be celebrated – along with their wild counterparts – during World Rhino Day on Saturday, September 22, at the Detroit Zoo.
Zookeeper talks will be held at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. and fun learning activities will take place throughout the day. Guests will learn of the threats facing these charismatic mega-herbivores as well as fun facts about the five species of rhinos living in Africa and Asia.
Visitors will also have the chance to build observation skills by comparing themselves to a life-sized cutout of a rhinoceros’s body and plaster casts of rhino footprints. An infographic will depict the decline of rhino populations over the years. Guests will also be able to examine rhino horn replicas while learning about how poaching has impacted populations as well as conservation efforts to save these species.
“These giants of the African savannah have been around for millions of years, and the Detroit Zoological Society is joining organizations around the globe to ensure they remain for years to come,” said Scott Carter, chief life sciences officer for the Detroit Zoological Society.
Three of the world’s five species of rhinos are critically endangered due to poaching and habitat loss. Rhinos are killed for their horns, which are sold and used in traditional Chinese medicines and as high-status gifts in parts of Asia. A rhino’s horn is made of keratin fibers – a protein found in hair and nails – and grows from the rhino’s skin.
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