New Straits Times Press, Malaysia
October 6, 2000
BERHAD, Malaysia - It was a day when animal lovers paused and spared
a thought for the animal kingdom. Yes, it was World Animal Day on
Wednesday, co-inciding with the birthday of St Francis of Assisi,
the patron saint of animals.
The Animal Planet, this year, paid a special tribute to the endangered
Viewers were shown the world of the rhinoceros with four programmes
that focused on its habitat, lifestyle and fight for survival.
Rhinoceroses are some of the most misunderstood and threatened
creatures on the planet, with only five primary species remaining
on three continents.
There are only five species of rhinoceros (meaning "horned
nose") left in the world - Asian One-Horned, White, Black,
Javan and Sumatran (the smallest of the species).
The programmes included Charging Back, which explored the killing
of African rhinos and efforts made in recovering their population.
The other programme, Last of the Rhinos shared one of the most
intimate times in a rhino's life with viewers when the programme
followed a nine- year-old female Black Rhinoceros and her new-born
calf through the formative early months of its life.
The programmes also revealed that all rhinos have poor vision and
cannot detect a motionless person at a distance greater than 30m.
However, they have excellent hearing and an acute sense of smell.
The Black Rhino is unpredictable and can be dangerous, but it usually
runs away if it detects the smell of a human.