Monday, November 19, 2012

Endangered Species Monday - There is always hope

Sometimes reading about endangered species can be difficult. Doing research to write about them is even more difficult. Oh, who am I kidding, it can be down right depressing. The word endangered "seriously at risk of extinction" alone breaks my heart. However, part of making a difference in this world is creating awareness; so I keep reading, I keep researching, and I keep writing.

Every now and then I come across a success story or read about how a species, like the mountain gorilla is showing an upward climb in population. This my friends makes all the difference. Then there are the stories that bring me so much joy and hope that I can't help but smile for hours.

This is one of those stories.


According to the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo, the rhino was born at Florida's White Oak Conservation Center on October 30 and weighed 132 pounds. Born on an unusually cold night, the calf struggled - he was slow to start nursing and did not establish a strong bond with his mother. When White Oak staff saw he wasn't thriving, they decided to hand rear him. BioPark animal care staff traveled with the rhino from Florida and moved the now 169-pound baby into a behind-the-scenes area at the Zoo on the evening of Nov. 14.

The Southern White Rhino almost went extinct in the early 1900's with numbers dwindling down to 100, but thanks to conservation efforts, captive breeding programs at accredited zoos and conservation centers, and reserves, the Southern White Rhino population has climbed to over 20,000 individuals today.

The fight to end rhino poaching isn't over and there are still five other rhino species who need saving (seven if you count the Borneo and Northern White), but seeing this little guy walk out of a crate reminds me that there is always hope when dealing with endangered species.

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