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Friday, February 22, 2013

Do Not Whisper, SHOUT!!! Save The Rhinoceros







 Most endangered mammal in the world!!!
Rhinoceros sondaicus - Javan Rhinoceros, Sunda Rhinoceros, Lesser One-horned Rhinoceros. 
Population: Fewer than 50, only one known location in the wild, Ujung Kulon NP in Indonesia. 
The Vietnamese Javan Rhino officially declared EXTINCT in 2010



Dicerorhinus sumatrensis - Sumatran Rhinoceros
Population: Fewer than 200. Critically endangered.


Ceratotherium simum cottoni - Northern White Rhinoceros, Northern Square-lipped Rhinoceros, with an Einiosaurus-like horn. 
Population: 7 Individuals 
Now only 3 remain


Rhinoceros unicornis - Indian Rhinoceros, Greater One-horned Rhinoceros 
Population: 2,949
 

Diceros bicornis - Black Rhinoceros
Population: 4,860



 Ceratotherium simum simum - Southern White Rhinoceros, Southern Square-lipped Rhinoceros
Population: 20,600 




These rhinoceros illustrations were conceived at a time when I wanted to take a break from drawing elephants. It wasn't so much that the elephant project was burdensome. I just noticed that my lines were becoming sloppy. I love elephants and I felt I was not doing them justice. I decided to read a book, Hidden Worlds of Wildife, by National Geographic where I saw a photograph of a black rhinoceros. I thought it looked very fierce and cool. I was not well informed about the rhino. I decided to read and read...

What I discovered was heart rending. Where once the rhinoceros roamed the jungles, rain forests and savannahs of Africa and Asia, their numbers are dwindling due to illegal poaching for the insatiable desire for their horns erroneously believed to be of medicinal value in traditional Chinese medicine. With the development of the Chinese economy and the upsurge of Chinese middle class, the demand for rhino horns has increased. According to SavingRhino.org, "China was working to circumvent the international trade ban on rhino horn by exploiting a CITES loophole. The country had imported over 100 live rhinos from South Africa since 2000, for the purpose of "farming" rhinos and encouraging the "medicinal use" of rhino horns."

It is a myth that the rhino horn can cure among other diseases, cancer. It does not! The horn is made of keratin, the same material found in hair and fingernails.  Rhino horn is not medicine.

In 2011, the Vietnamese Javan rhino officially became extinct when the last of the rhinos was murdered by poachers in Vietnam. Today the Javan rhinoceros, Rhinoceros sondaicus, is the most endagered mammal in the world with fewer than 50 individuals, in Indonesia. Closer in proximity are the Sumatran rhinos, Dicerorhinus sumatrensis, critically endangered and remaining fewer than 200. Also the Indian rhino, Rhinoceros unicornis, endangered and continues to be victims of illegal poaching. The close proximity of these animals to China make them vulnerable to poaching.

I am not much of an activist. In fact, when I believe in a cause, I tend to be calm about it, study it, learn more about it, share information with a few close friends, educate my children and then quietly contribute money or volunteer my time. There are only five extant rhinoceros species remaining in the world, and as such, this rhinoceros illustration project is done. However, as for helping save the rhino, I am NOT done...please join me. I am investigating ways I can make these illustrations serve a purpose. In the meantime, you may want to check out these organizations and donate directly to them:





5 comments:

Bella Sinclair said...

Awwwww, dear Ces. That is heartbreaking indeed. Population 3....population 7..... Ignorance and human greed. Patooey. Your illustrations are regal and beautiful. They will certainly bring attention to this horrible plight. I wish this weren't such a short series. :(

Rod MacGregor said...

Nice project Ces!! Sad about the rhinos...they are beautiful creatures. KILL THE HUNTERS!!!(whispered loudly).
Why don't you start a facebook page with these illos as a reason and the Rhinos will get more attention.

Ces said...

Thank you Rod! There are already many Save the rhino organizations. That is how I found out about the plight of the rhinos. Very sad, but they are making progress and doing a lot of good for the rhinos.

Ces said...

There are only five extant species left.

Mauricio Abril said...

Hi Ces, I left you a comment on another of your blogs that I found via blog browsing. I'm sure you'll see it there, but is this your main blog? Just curious. I love these elephant drawings! Cheers!

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