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Cornell University

Rhinos

Protecting the health and safety of wild rhinos

Rhinoceroses are ancient beasts, having changed little in the past 30 million years. Some say they are at the end of their evolutionary time, but the world’s five species remain remarkably adapted to life on Earth – except for their vulnerability at the hand of man.

The highly endangered Sumatran rhino lives in the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia. With these forest rhinos hovering at approximately 100 individuals, they are threatened by logging, the oil palm industry and potentially from diseases spread by domestic livestock.

Rhino Hanging Upside Down
Slinging rhinos upside down appears to be the safest way to move an anesthetized rhino out of rugged terrain. © Robin Radcliffe
 

In Africa, rhinos are under intense poaching pressure. The best tools to counter the current demand for horn are intensive protection and, when needed, translocation of animals to areas that can be more effectively secured. At the same time, the demand for rhino horn in Asia must be curtailed.

Our teams are working in both Asia and Africa to mitigate disease threats to wild rhinos and to improve translocation outcomes.