Helping rhinos in the wild
Eastern black rhinos are an endangered species in the wild due to poaching and habitat loss. Poachers are tracking down rhinos all over the world for one thing, their notable horn.
Rhino horns are used as a staple in traditional Chinese medicine and becoming increasingly more common, as a status symbol to display success and wealth.
So what makes rhino horns so special? Nothing, in fact. Rhino horn is made of the same material as your fingernails- keratin and amino acids – and has no proven medicinal use. The act of killing rhinos and trading their horns for money is illegal and cruel, and the rhino population is suffering because of it. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is nationally-known for its commitment in securing a future for wildlife. The Zoo is continuously working with conservation partners all over the world to contribute to their efforts to help animals.
A multi-billion-dollar criminal industry, illegal wildlife trade is one of the top threats to wildlife globally, from elephants to rhinos, tigers, turtles and more. The Zoo is working with and supporting more than a dozen partners around the world to intervene and disrupt the illegal wildlife trade chain.
Addressing illegal wildlife trade requires strategic efforts at all points in the chain, from collector to consumer. This involves anti-poaching efforts, law enforcement and regulatory agency support, legislation and political action, large-scale awareness building and education, and public advocacy and behavior change.
So what can you do to help? First, you can visit the Zoo to learn more about the dangers of illegal wildlife trade and what threats these animals are facing. Be sure you visit the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Welcome Pavilion to place a token in the “Illegal Wildlife Trade” box and contribute to helping the fight.
You can also educate yourself and others on what products come from illegal trade such as ivory from elephant tusks or keratin from the rhino horn. Refraining from buying products like these is a such a small act that can truly make a difference.
The Zoo's Future for Wildlife program works with multiple conservation partners to address illegal wildlife trade by:
- Engaging and empowering local communities and educating the public and consumers
- Working to stop the illegal wildlife trade globally
- Monitoring, studying and publishing information on wildlife trade at a global level
Visit ClevelandZooSociety.org/Donate to make a donation toward the fight against illegal wildlife trade today!
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