An estimation of about one million Black Rhinoceros’, stemming from about four different subspecies, were said to have roamed around the savannas of Africa near the beginning of the 20th Century. Unfortunately, the black rhino was targeted strongly for what it had to offer, and the species was soon wiped out completely. What led up to this unfortunate extinction is told to be “a story of greed, indifference, hope, and despair.”
Although the black rhino had lived among a wide range of the Northernmost areas in Africa, the 20th century proved to be completely incompatible with this particular species. The black rhino population numbers dropped drastically due to things such as sports hunting, industrial agriculture, and the fear of these Rhinoceros' interfering with other beings and/or their crops.
Mao Zedong, the former chairman of the communist party of china who served during the 1950's, made it very obvious that he preferred traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) over western medicine. Since this was the case, it called for a well-known TCM cure consisting of powdered Rhino horn. Who would have thought? This specific "cure" was told to treat all different sorts of ailments; whether it was treating a fever or curing cancer, powdered rhino horn was strongly desired.
Unfortunately, due to the huge desire for these creatures, between 1960 and 1995 there was a massive loss of about 98% of the Western Black Rhinos; they were lost to the hunting of poachers. All the Rhinoceros species had suffered, but the Western Black Rhino surely took the most powerful hit.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) published a report, entitled, African Rhino: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan; Inside, they concluded that "the lack of local conservation capacity and government commitment" would make consolidating the last rhinoceros' difficult, also saying that the future of the subspecies was bleak.
Finally, in 2011, it had been a whole decade since any Rhino of the species had been seen. Although this was over ten years ago, people are just now finding out the reality of this tragedy. And we hope to see change for the sake of the remaining species.