Theme: This year the theme for Rhino day is “Five Rhino Species Forever“.
This theme highlights the importance of the five rhino species which are left in our world today. The theme was thoughtfully decided to draw attention to the protection of these five rhinos.
Every year World Rhino Day is observed on September 22, 2022. The day plays an important role in raising awareness to save the rhino species. The horns of rhinos are being hunted for various medicinal purposes. This is one of the reasons for the slow extinction of this species.
World Rhino Day was first observed in 2011, and every year since then, it has been observed worldwide. By 1970, rhino numbers dropped to 70,000 and today around 27,000 rhinos remain in the wild. Very few rhinos survive outside national parks and reserves due to persistent poaching and habitat loss over many decades.
Rhino poaching has risen to levels not seen in almost two decades. Although there is no scientific proof of its medical value, rhino horn remains highly prized in traditional Asian medicine, where it is ground into a fine powder as treatment for a variety of illnesses such as nosebleeds and fevers.
Rhino poaching is being driven by the demand for rhino horn in Asian countries, particularly China and Viet Nam. Rhino horn is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, but increasingly common is its use as a status symbol to display success and wealth.
Over the centuries, rhino horns have been carved into ceremonial cups, as well as buttons, belt buckles, hair pins, and paperweights. Far more pervasive, however, is their use in the traditional medicine systems of many Asian countries, from Malaysia and South Korea to India and China, to cure a variety of ailments.
Rhino horn is made from keratin—a protein found in fingernails and hair. The product is falsely said to help treat everything from cancer to gout when consumed in its powder form. There are no proven medicinal benefits in humans from either product.
There are only two northern white rhinos left in the world today (2022) and they are both females. The last remaining male passed away in 2018 leaving the two females to be cared for at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.
World Rhino Day on Wednesday, September 22, is being marked in Assam with a special ceremony by burning nearly 2,500 one-horned rhinoceros horns. The Assam Cabinet announced the decision last week after the forest department’s ‘rhino horn re-verification’ exercises lasting weeks.
The purpose of burning rhino horns is to give poachers a clear message and smugglers that these items had no value. It was for their conservation and aimed at busting myths regarding their horns.