The day serves to draw attention to the plight of the Rhinoceros in the wild. The Rhinoceros is a fascinating creature. It is the fifth largest land animal. The genus contains two species, the Indian Rhinoceros and the Javan Rhinoceros. Although both members are endangered, the Javan Rhinoceros is one of the most endangered large mammals in the world with only 60 individuals surviving in Java. The Indian rhinoceros once ranged throughout the entire stretch of the Indo-Gangetic Plain but excessive hunting reduced the natural habitat drastically. Today, about 3,000 rhinos live in the wild, 2,000 of which are found in India's Assam alone.
Native to Africa, this leftover from the age of Dinosaurs was hunted to near extinction. Hunters on safaris, killed Rhinos just for sport. Poachers hunted them for their horn. The horn has been used as medicine, and for making knife handles, carved statues, and other objects. Animal rights groups have helped to save this animal from extinction, and their numbers have rebounded somewhat.