What Is Being Done to Save the White Rhino?

Attempts to save the white rhino come in several forms. First, there has been the installment of anti-poaching zones, or protected zones, and their subsequent enforcement. Additionally, conservationists have also tried consolidating specimens in environments deemed more conducive to mating, hoping that the animals would resume healthier mating practices, thus increasing the population that can be fully reintroduced into the wild.

Attempts at saving the white rhino have met with varied success. While the southern white subspecies has seen remarkable recovery as of 2014, the northern subspecies remains in extreme danger of disappearance. While the population of southern white rhinos in the world has grown to an estimated 20,000 animals, the northern white has only four individuals, down from eight in 2009. According to Scientific American, conservationists and biologists have tried taking these four specimens, some from zoos and other forms of captivity, and placing them in a protected reserve in Africa, thinking that the more natural surroundings would induce mating. Because the white northern specimens have not mated with each other, conservationists have tried to crossbreed the northern rhinos with their southern cousins. Although the hybrid is not the most ideal possible outcome, it is better than the eradication of the pure northern white altogether. Unfortunately, as of 2014, no successful mating attempts have occurred, and the minuscule northern white population present in Africa remains static, all residing in Garamba National Park in the Congo.