In honor of our Erumpent Rescue campaign, we want to introduce you to the magical creatures that the campaign is all for.
Our magical creature in the Wizarding World is the Erumpent. The erumpent is a “medium-sized” beast with a thick, rope-like tail, grey skin, and a sharp horn on its nose. It is prized among some witches and wizards for the magical properties of its tail and horn, so unfortunately erumpents are hunted and killed legally. In the muggle world, the erumpent finds its counterpart in the rhinoceros, a being which similarly is grey-skinned and has one or two horns, but which differs in size and is in fact illegal to kill and trade parts of.
Many varieties of rhinoceroses used to be found in Europe, Asia, and Africa, as far back as the wooly rhinoceros in the time of the cavemen. But today, they are found only in Asia and Africa, and in not nearly as wide-spread areas.
These herbivorous animals are known for their distinctive horns, possessing either one or two which are made up of keratin. It is these horns that cause the most danger to the rhinos, for hunters and poachers kill them in order to obtain the horns to sell as medicine and decoration. However, habitat loss is also dangerous for rhino populations, and conservation areas are diminishing due to logging, road-building, and human settlement.
An international ban on trade in rhino horn has been in place since 1977, but poachers have continued to kill these magnificent creatures to the point where only a few species still exist in the wild.
There are 5 main species:
1. Black Rhino- located in Africa, 5,000+ left in the wild
2. White Rhino- located in Africa, 20,000+ left in the wild
3. Greater One-horned Rhino- located in Asia, approx. 3,5000 in the wild
4. Javan Rhino- located in Asia, 63 left in the wild (critically endangered)
5. Sumatran Rhino- located in Asia, <100 left in the wild (critically endangered)
Some sub-species of these species, such as Northern White Rhinos and Western Black Rhinos, have already gone extinct in the wild, so it is up to magizoologists like us to ensure the rest of the species’ survival.
Information from this article was gathered from the following sources:
1. “Rhinoceros.” WWF, World Wide Fund for Nature, 2017, wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/rhinoceros/.
2. Bradford, Alina. “Facts About Rhinos.” LiveScience, Purch, 23 Mar. 2016, www.livescience.com/27439-rhinos.html.