Here comes the CRASH, of rhinos that is! That is what a group of rhinos is called, a CRASH!
This year we are dashing (running, walking, strolling, skipping) to support rhino conservation. Join us for a VIRTUAL 5K that can be done anywhere you like, at your own pace. This event is replacing our annual Bowling for Rhinos event, but our mission is the same. Each year the American Association of Zoo keepers (AAZK) sponsors fund raising events around the globe. The Puget Sound Chapter (PSAAZK) participates in fundraising each year with events that have ranged from curling, to bowling, to now RUNNING.
Funds raised support Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (LWC) in Kenya, Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP) and Way Kambas in Sumatra via the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), as wells as Action for Cheetahs in Kenya (ACK), which shares a portion of the land mass with LWC. These sanctuaries not only save rhinos (and cheetahs) but also entire ecosystems – orchids to elephants! They especially need our help right now with a loss of critical ecotourism funds from the effects of the global pandemic.
We are taking 5 days, starting on Cinco de Rhino, to celebrate 5 rhino species with 5 kilometers:
1) Greater One Horned Rhino: Thanks to strict protection by government authorities in India and Nepal, the greater one-horned, or Indian, rhino has rebounded from fewer than 100 individuals to more than 3,600 today. There are two Greater One Horned Rhinos at our very own Woodland Park Zoo! Come see Glen and Taj when you have a chance, and let them know you ran to help protect their wild brothers and sisters.
2) Javan Rhino: the rarest of the rhino species with 74 animals currently surviving only in Indonesia
3) Sumatran Rhino: Fewer than 80 Sumatran rhinos survive in very small and highly fragmented populations. The Sumatran rhino is the most endangered of all rhinoceros species due to its rapid rate of decline.
4) Black Rhino: Black rhinos have suffered the most drastic decline of all rhino species. Between 1970 and 1993, the population of black rhinos decreased by 96% from approximately 65,000 to only 2,300 surviving in the wild. Since 1996, intense anti-poaching efforts and strategic translocations to safer areas have allowed the species to slowly recover and increase in size to now 5,630.
5) White Rhino: The white rhino, along with the roughly equal-sized Greater one-horned rhino, is the largest species of land mammal after the elephant. A success story of cooperative conservation, the Government of South Africa and dedicated conservationists teamed up to bring the southern white rhino back from possibly fewer than 50 individuals in the early 1900s to roughly 17,000 – 18,000 today.
For more information about the five rhino species, please visit the International Rhino Foundation website at rhinos.org.
Puget Sound AAZK is an active chapter of dedicated Zoo Keepers, Volunteers, and Staff members that support professionalism in the zoo field and conservation of our wild places. For more information about our AAZK chapter, please visit our website at psaazk.org, we will also be accepting donations through our website.