There are only two northern white rhinos left in the world, but all is not lost, as scientists have been able to make embryos from harvested eggs and frozen sperm, with the hopes of implantation in a surrogate mother. That news from this month was cause for celebration on Sunday’s World Rhino Day, although there is much work to be done to save the subspecies.
The western black rhino has also gone extinct in the wild, part of a disturbing trend for the species and subspecies of rhinos. White and black rhinos live in Africa, where poaching and habitat loss have threatened them with extinction, but national parks and sanctuaries have helped conservation efforts.
The birth of a calf in April at Uganda’s Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary brought the total number of southern white rhinos to 27. Once thought to be extinct, the southern white rhino has thrived in protected sanctuaries and its status is listed as near threatened.
Among the three Asian species, Javan and Sumatran rhinos are critically endangered, according to the World Wildlife Fund. The one-horned, or Indian, rhino has improved from endangered to vulnerable, though poaching remains a problem.
To promote conservation efforts, Largay Travel preferred partner African Travel is pledging $100 per couple traveling on its Majestic South Africa 10-day itineraries that include Cape Town and the Shamwari Game Reserve, a 61,000-acre area where guests enjoy twice daily game drives.
“We exist because our goal in life is to make travel matter. It’s our responsibility to protect some of the species most at risk from extinction in the places we visit, and we are extremely passionate about rhino conservation” African Travel president Sherwin Banda said. “At Shamwari, this is something our guests will experience first-hand and we’re proud that we’re able to support sustainable tourism through this effort.”
Shamwari’s rehabilitation center cares for sick, injured, abandoned or orphaned animals, and the donations will go toward the construction of a rhino boma (enclosure) where the animals can receive treatment and prepare for release back into their natural habitat.
At andBeyond’s Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa, guests can take a direct role in conservation efforts by helping the veterinary team and rangers place tracking chips in rhinos and take DNA samples.
Contact us at email@example.com or 888-251-3096 for more information on these and other ways you can help with conservation efforts and see these majestic creatures up close.
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