A HAIRY RHINO
Among all the rhinos of the world, the Sumatran Rhino is the hairiest. As a matter of fact, this rhino is more directly related to the extinct wooly rhino than any living rhino. Gone are the likes of the wooly mammoth and other ice age giants, but the Sumatran Rhino remains like an echo of those that once roamed the earth.
Wooly Rhino – Photo credit: BBC
This week we are visiting the Sumatran Rhino, a critically endangered mammal that lives in small populations in Malaysia, and Indonesia. However, the populations in Malaysia are in question. I have read that they were declared extinct in Malaysia just this past August and that's very sad news.
This magnificent animal is critically endangered due to habitat destruction and hunting. The Chinese believed that the horn of the Sumatran Rhino contained medicinal value. This is not true, of course, and now the animal is protect by law. Even though they are protected, there is still a problem with poaching. There are ongoing international efforts to help protect the Sumatran Rhino from poachers.
There are only 400 of these animals left in the wild, making it one of the rarest of all the large animals of the world. At one time, the Sumatran Rhino roamed from the Himalayan foothills, down through China and into Cambodia and Laos.
Sumatran Rhino (Photo credit: Michael Dick/Animals Animals-Earth Scenes)
It is the smallest of all the living rhinos, averaging only 48 to 58 inches in height and weighing about 1700 pounds. They forage for fruit, twigs, bamboo, and bark. It’s amazing that they get so big on an herbivorous diet (meaning it only eats plants).
The Sumatran Rhino is a solitary animal, which likes wallowing in pools of water that it creates for itself. It is believed that the water helps to keep the rhinos cool and may also protect them from insects.
If you would like to learn more about the Sumatran Rhino, you can visit the following web sites:
Please stop by again next week to visit with another unusual animal.
Jeanne E. Rogers, Award Winning Author
The Sword of Demelza and The Gift of Sunderland
Middle Grade Fantasy Where Endangered Animal Heroes Roam the Pages!