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Rhinos

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Rhinoceros means nose horn, an appropriate name for these animals with one or two distinctive horns on their snouts. The horn is the same protein composition as hair, fingernails and hooves. The horns on our rhinos are replicas.

The Black Rhino (Diceros bicornisis dark colored and lives in the shrub country of Africa. The small, pointed lips are good for nibbling off leaves from thorny acacia plants and other bushes. Their numbers are less than in the past, but they are difficult to find and are doing better than the other species of African rhino.

The White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum) is slightly lighter in color but it is gray, not white. The name is from the Afrikaans word describing its mouth, “wyd”, meaning "wide" which referred to the wide lips that are good for grazing on grasses.  Because the White rhino lives in open grasslands they are more exposed to predators that occasionally kill calves or to human hunters that sometimes kill them for their horns.

When rhinos mate they remain coupled for four to eight hours. Someone decided that the unusual horn on their snouts must have something to do with their prolonged mating behavior and decided that consuming rhino horn might generate the same results for humans. Rhino horn has sometimes sold for more than gold. Managers even anesthetized adult rhinos and cut off their horns and painted big white Xs on them to tell poachers to leave them alone. It didn’t discourage poachers well enough, and it made it nearly impossible for mothers to defend their young from predators.

Unfortunately the entire northern population of White rhinos has been exterminated in the wild. There are still some White rhinos in the south and in zoos, but their fate as a species is not secure. The invention of drugs for erectile disfunction has done much to protect the rhinos. The pills are much more effective than consuming rhino horn and less expensive.

(Our rhino horns are replicas.)

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