My subject for this month’s letter is in honor of my late grandfather, Lawrence S. Huffman. His favorite animal was the rhinoceros.
There are five different species of rhinos: the Black rhinoceros, the White rhinoceros, the Greater Indian rhinoceros, the Javan rhinoceros, and the Sumatran rhinoceros. All of them are threatened with extinction. Black, Javan, and Sumatran rhinos are listed as critically endangered; Indian and Southern White rhinos are listed as near threatened; and the Northern white rhinoceros is extinct in the wild.
Rhinos are all threatened because of one main problem: relentless poaching for their horns. Even though they’re made of the same substance that makes human fingernails, rhino horns are believed to have medicinal properties. The truth is that they don’t. Our state’s zoos partake in conservation efforts to protect rhinos, such as raising awareness and education.
To help protect the rhino from extinction, we must support these efforts and help fund the studies of wild rhinos. We must also teach people that rhino horns have no medicinal properties. Through all these efforts, we can help make sure that the rhinoceros is here to stay for a long time.
Thomas Miller Huffman, Lima