Northern White Rhinos Come Home

  • northern white rhino on Ol Pejeta
  • northern white rhino on Ol Pejeta

HISTORY OF THE SPECIES

Currently listed as the most critically endangered rhino subspecies and the most endangered mammal species in the world, northern white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) used to range over parts of Uganda, Chad, Sudan, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. By 1960 more than 2,000 northern white rhinos still existed, but excessive hunting for their horn, hide and meat has caused extreme depletion of their numbers. 

Until recently, the only known wild northern white rhino population was clinging to survival in Garamba National Park in North-East Democratic Republic of Congo, but continuous civil war and armed conflict in the area have resulted in depletion of wildlife populations.

In recent decades the northern white rhinos in Garamba population had increased to about 30 individuals, but then reduced drastically to 4 individuals in 2005. Sadly, there has been no sign of the four since 2007 and it is thought that the wild population may now be extinct. Thus the focus now shifted to the last remaining option involving the few northern white rhinos held in captivity.

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  • northern white rhino on Ol Pejeta
  • northern white rhino on Ol Pejeta
  • Mt Kenya
Photo credits: Krissie Ducker, Ed Barthorp, Batian Craig, Michael Dalton Smith (x2)