It is thought that the pandemic may be driving up Asian traditional medicine sales, & poaching of critically-endangered Black Rhino horns. In 2020, the Chinese banned illegal trade in rhino horns, as well as other wildlife, as they may harbor Covid-19.
Many hope these measures will deter traditionalists who think rhino horn can cure almost any disease.
From 1960 to near 2000, more than 95% of rhinos were hunted down and killed in Africa, leaving only 2,500 left. Their habitat has been eroded due to human incursion, also. Unfortunately, civil war and poverty in Africa still provide motivation for poaching. It is thought that the numbers poached each year is not sustainable.
In the last two decades however, the species has doubled in numbers, due to the work of many conservationists. White Oak Conservation in Florida is one of the many efforts to safeguard, as well as reintroduce Black Rhinos back into their natural habitats. The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) is using camera traps, drones, tracking tags, and radio collars to keep tabs on animals in South Africa, Namibia, and Kenya. For motherless rhino babies, there is the Zululand Rhino Orphanage.
Black Rhinos are mostly gray, and differ from White Rhinos in diet and physique. White Rhinos graze grasses, while Black Rhinos prefer small shrubs, bark, branches and leaves. One of the differences between the Black and White Rhinos is that Black Rhinos have mouths with hooked lips, designed to browse shrubs, not graze grass.
Male rhinos are particularly fierce, and during mating season, battles can be to the death. The largest of the males can be up to 3,000 kg–almost 6,500 lbs. Rhinos can also run up to 55 kph, or 35 mph.
Baby rhinos are born after 15 to 17 months, and can stand within a few hours. They can stay with their mothers for up to four years, but generally leave sooner. In natural surroundings, a rhino can live up to 50 years.