Wild Fact #277 – No Time To Waste – Javan Rhinoceros

Javan Rhinoceros - Almost Extinct

Photo by Jo Oh (Wikimedia)

It is probably a good time to learn about the Javan Rhinoceros as they may not be around much longer. Believe it or not, there is only one known population of these critically endangered animals left in the wild. In fact, these 4o individuals could very well be the last of their species and their population is dwindling very quickly. In 2011 a second population of Javan Rhinoceros’ found throughout Vietnam was officially considered to be extinct. Since none of these rhinos are being held in captivity, it leaves these 40 individuals with the huge responsibly and burden of keeping their species alive.

Poached Rhino

The Javan Rhinoceros is also known as the Lesser One-Horned Rhinoceros and can only be found hanging out in an Indonesian National Park known as Ujung Kulon. You might be thinking that this population has a good chance of survival since they live within the confines of a protected park. It is a nice thought but not exactly an accurate one. As long as their horns continue to sell for a cool $30 000/kg, their population will be in danger by poachers. It is sad to think that at one time this beautiful creature was once the most widespread Asian rhino species and now is considered to be the rarest large mammal on the planet.

Javan Rhinoceros

Author T.Dixon. The Zoological Society of London

Time for a Mud Bath

For the most part, the Javan Rhinoceros is a solitary creature, however, they will gather around a nice salt lick or mud wallow once in awhile. Similarly you will see pairs of these rhinos during their breeding season or shortly after while the mother is looking after her calves. When they do gather around the mud wallow they will often put their difference aside to peacefully enjoy the mud….unless one encroaches on another’s perfect mud hole. Interestingly enough, this particular rhino does not like to create their own mud wallow. Nope, they prefer to take one designed by another animal and simply enlarge it to fit their massive body. I am not sure why they do this but it probably takes a lot less energy to expand a hole than to create a new one, right?

I just hope that the Javan Rhinoceros is able to enjoy their nice mud baths for years to come. It would be sad to see the end of a such a beautiful and historical species….especially if the end is a result of an illegal bullet.

Add Comment