Perth Zoo’s rhinos are helping to raise awareness for their wild counterparts for World Rhinoceros Day.
To celebrate the occasion, 17-year-old Bakari, the Southern White Rhinoceros was spoilt with tasty treats and jumbo-sized toys to play with. Rhinos have an excellent sense of smell, so keepers even sprayed essential oils and perfume for Bakari to sniff out.
He might weigh in at 2100kg, but zoo keepers say this hefty herbivore is the ultimate gentle giant. Their placid nature is also a contributing factor to their wild demise, with the species hunted for their horns.
In the three years from 2018-2020, due to ongoing poaching pressure, Africa’s overall white rhino population declined by almost 20 per cent, from 18,067 to 15,942, whilst 575-923 African rhino horns entered illegal markets in each of those years.
In the first six months of 2022, 259 rhinos were lost to poaching.
Known as ‘chubby unicorns’ Perth Zoo is determined that rhinos will not go extinct and be but a mythical creature.
Bakari was born as part of a regionally coordinated breeding program to ensure the species remain on the planet, albeit in the safety of zoos. We also help fund TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, helping to fight illegal wildlife trade.
World Rhino Day is acknowledged on September 22 each year for the purpose of raising awareness of the plight of wild rhinos, and hoping to ultimately secure a long-term future for rhinos in the wild.