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Desert Black Rhino

In Search of the Desert Rhino

     In one of the hardest locations to access due to its sheer remoteness, Damaraland, Namibia is one of the most beautiful and expansive ecosystems on earth. Home to a critically endangered animal in need of protection in order survive against a variety of threats including poaching. 

    To find the desert black rhino, we met up with Save the Rhino Trust and their passionate rangers who track rhinos daily to ensure their safety and to collect valuable data on the rhino population. This part of Namibia is a stronghold for this species, so having the proper security is vital to this animals success. 

     In parts of China, rhino horn is consumed for various reasons as it is believed it is good for one's health. In reality, the horn is made out of the same substance our hair is made of - keratin. There is no medicinal value in rhino horn and the market is based entirely on a misunderstanding. Nonetheless, rhino horn is valuable on the black market and fuels illegal poaching of these animals. In order to protect the desert black rhinos, rangers modify the animal's horn do devalue it to hunters. By marking the horn up, cutting it and modifying it, the value of the horn decreases, making poaching the animal not worth it to an illegal hunter. SRT also hires local villagers as rangers, giving them economic incentive to save the species from extinction. 




Rhino valley is characterized by mountains, large boulders and scarce vegetation  Temperatures in this desert and exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit.   

A male black rhino partially hides behind a tree while we sneak by. Rhinos are cautious of humans and will avoid them whenever possible.   

An ancient plant known as the Welwitschia can reach an age of 1,000 years old. This poisonous plant is part of the diet of the black rhino.


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