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Word Count: 523
BLACK RHINO Black rhinos are the only one of the five species of the remaining rhinos Rhinos have roamed the earth for over fify million years Until the early part of this century hundreds of thousands of rhinos roamed over huge area of Africa and Asia The worlds rhinos are endangered not because evolution has caught up with them but because they have been shot Man is the adult rhinos only predator The black rhinos was once found in the suitable habitat over much of Africa in the Sahara There were 65000 black rhinos in 1970 to only 3800 in 1987 This is one of the greatest conservation scandals Certain governments and organization groups have concerted effort to rectify this disaster In Kenya 98 percent of the black rhinos were killed between 1970 and 1885 Therefore the black rhino has suffered the most spectacular rate of decline of all rhino species in the last 10 to 15 years with population reduced 85 percent The black rhino could once be found in Africa south of the Sahara Desert in brush country grasslands and open forests However due to poaching they are now found in small isolated populations the two largest being in Tanzania and Zimbabwe The rhinos most distingunishing feature may well be the cause of its extinction Their horn has been prized for many years by tradiontional Eastern cultures It has been carved into daggers and also ground into powder that is thought to have healing powers Once the most numerous of all rhino species the black rhino has been the target of the greatest hunting pressure of all Rhinos are slow breeders only giving birth to one calf every 2 to 4 years The gestation period is between 15 to 16 months Rhinos have poor vision and are unable to detect a motionless person at a distance of more than 100 feet The rhinos eyes are located on either side of its head
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