Monday, July 7, 2008
This month's new family member from World Wildlife Fund is a Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), a native of the islands of Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia. These rhinos, sometimes called "Hairy" Rhinos, are the smallest members of the rhino family, weighing only (!) 1,300-1,700 pounds. They have two horns, the front horn measures 10-30 inches, and the second, much shorter horn, is only about 3 inches. They have a ruddy skin that is variably covered with long hair, and they sport tufts of hair on their ears and at the end of their tails. Sumatrans are critically endangered, and there may be as few as 300 individuals currently existing in the wild. As usual, their threatened existence is due to habitat loss and poaching. Urgent measures are needed to save the forests where these guys still survive. Morever, it's imperative that trade in rhino products be halted immediately.