Black Rhinoceros: Intro

ambience: African rainstorm


The rainy season is beginning this month in southern Africa, and for the black rhinoceros, it’s a welcome change. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont.

“There are five species of rhino which are alive in the world today, and one of these is the black rhino, which is only found in Africa.”

Zoe Jewell is a zoologist with Rhinowatch, an organization which monitors the population of the black rhino, an endangered species. Since 1992, she’s been working in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

“It’s a magnificent animal, it weighs up to one and a half tons. It has two horns. It tends to be fairly solitary. It doesn’t go around in larger social groups like the white rhino. It has what we call a prehensile lip, which is designed to grab bits of vegetation from branches.”

The number of black rhinoceros has dwindled from tens of thousands just a quarter century ago to only a few thousand today. Poachers kill black rhinoceros for their horns, which are used as medicine in Asia. The black rhinos have also had to deal with natural challenges, including an severe lack of rain for half a year.

“It’s been very very dry for the last six months and the water sources have become less available to the rhinos, so the rhinos are having to move quite long distances to find the water they need. Drinking, usually, very early morning, two or three o clock in the morning, they come down to water when there’s very little other disturbance around. And they drink, and they often then walk back 15, 20 kilometers, so quite a lot of their day is taken up with walking quite long distances.”

Right now in southern Africa, the rains are starting up again, reviving vegetation and seasonal water pools, and giving the rhinos a little rest. Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.


Black Rhinoceros: Intro

The rainy season is starting this month in southern Africa, and for the black rhinoceros, that means life is about to get a lot easier.
Air Date:11/27/2000
Scientist:
Transcript:

ambience: African rainstorm


The rainy season is beginning this month in southern Africa, and for the black rhinoceros, it's a welcome change. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont.

"There are five species of rhino which are alive in the world today, and one of these is the black rhino, which is only found in Africa."

Zoe Jewell is a zoologist with Rhinowatch, an organization which monitors the population of the black rhino, an endangered species. Since 1992, she's been working in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

"It's a magnificent animal, it weighs up to one and a half tons. It has two horns. It tends to be fairly solitary. It doesn't go around in larger social groups like the white rhino. It has what we call a prehensile lip, which is designed to grab bits of vegetation from branches."

The number of black rhinoceros has dwindled from tens of thousands just a quarter century ago to only a few thousand today. Poachers kill black rhinoceros for their horns, which are used as medicine in Asia. The black rhinos have also had to deal with natural challenges, including an severe lack of rain for half a year.

"It's been very very dry for the last six months and the water sources have become less available to the rhinos, so the rhinos are having to move quite long distances to find the water they need. Drinking, usually, very early morning, two or three o clock in the morning, they come down to water when there's very little other disturbance around. And they drink, and they often then walk back 15, 20 kilometers, so quite a lot of their day is taken up with walking quite long distances."

Right now in southern Africa, the rains are starting up again, reviving vegetation and seasonal water pools, and giving the rhinos a little rest. Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.