Two rhinos and an oxpecker bird in the Amakhala Game Reserve in South Africa
© Robert Harding World Imagery/Offse
Protecting endangered giants
The bands around the ankles of these two white rhinos, strolling through South Africa’s Amakhala Game Reserve, are used to track endangered animals and protect them from poaching. Both white and black rhinos live in open savanna but adult rhinos’ only real predators are humans who hunt them for the illegal trade in their horns. Although they are large, tough animals, rhinos are an easy target for poachers during their daily visits to the watering hole.
Southern white rhinos now thrive in protected sanctuaries like the Amakhala Game Reserve. But the northern white rhino subspecies is believed to be extinct in the wild, with only a few left in captivity. Black rhinos have doubled from their low point over the past two decades, but still number only a fraction of their population in the early 20th Century – something to think about on Wildlife Conservation Day.