Adopt a Rhino

With their horn now exceeding the price of gold, more than 8,800 African rhinos have been slaughtered by poachers in the last 10 years.

From the woolly rhinos of the past, to a comic book super-villain that takes their namesake, rhinos are one of the most instantly recognisable animals on the planet. Yet, the five species of rhino that have survived into modern day, are facing extinction. Black, Javan, and Sumatran rhinos are all listed as critically endangered. Javan rhinos are most at risk, now restricted to a singular national park in the north of their island home. A mainland subspecies found in Vietnam was officially declared extinct in 2011.  

Other subspecies, such as the northern white rhino and western black rhino, are now extinct in the wild. Rangers stand a sad, round-the-clock vigil over the last two remaining northern white rhinos (both female) in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya. 

Through concentrated conservation efforts, the greater one-horned rhino of Asia has increased its numbers and its range, but is still listed as vulnerable to extinction. Southern white rhinos too have found sanctuary in protected areas. Yet, beyond the isolated outposts of national parks and reserves, rhinos stand little chance against the persistent threat of poaching.  

Rhino horn is a highly-prized ingredient in unorthodox medicines, despite being made of keratin – which makes up human fingernails. No medicinal or health benefits can be derived from this simple protein, found in all mammalian hair, nails, hooves, and claws. 

There is an insatiable demand for rhino horns across Asia, especially in Vietnam and China. Poaching is therefore the most prominent threat to all rhino species. 

When you adopt a rhino with DSWF, you’ll help support vital, frontline projects across Africa and Asia working to save them for future generations. You can also donate directly here.  

How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Rhino

  • Just £3 per month (or £36 per year) could deliver vital education to school children on the importance of rhinos and their role in the ecosystem.
  • Only £5 per month (or £47 per year) could protect one of the last strongholds of the desert adapted black rhino in Namibia.
  • £10 per month (or £60 per year) could fund K9 dog units working in the Assam region, India to prevent poaching and combat wildlife crime.

What’s Included When You Adopt a Rhino

1. A Personalised Adoption Pack

You’ll get a personalised certificate, a species fact sheet and animal bio sheet, a photograph and a copy of our latest Wildlife Matters magazine.

2. Rhino Print

A stunning print of an original rhino sketch by Detlef Tibax, ‘Wildlife Artist Of The Year 2022’ Art Of Survival Winner.

3. Rhino Toy

Optional hand-knitted rhino toy made by Little Ndaba, a women’s community group in Zambia.

Adoption packs are only available to be posted within the UK. Alternatively, you can opt to receive a digital adoption pack via sent email.

Threats to the Rhino Population 

Poaching and the Illegal Wildlife Trade 

The cumulative threats facing rhinos have already led to the extinction of three known subspecies in modern times. Undoubtedly, illegal hunting and poaching has played a pivotal role in their downfall. As well as its use in traditional medicine, rhino horn is also highly prized in China for its aesthetic qualities, where it often enters art and antique markets. As demand soars and rhinos become even rarer, horn is even grotesquely acquired as an investment.  

An estimated 8,800 rhinos have been slaughtered by poachers in Africa alone, over the last decade.  

Habitat Loss

Prime wilderness and habitat across Africa and Asia is being lost or made poorer. Both subsistence and industrial levels of agriculture have an impact. At local level, grazing herds of livestock strip the landscape of forage. Larger operations change the composition of grasslands and the soil itself, robbing it of diversity and much of its nutrients. 

With rhinos limited to national parks and conservancies for the most part, their populations have become isolated and fragmented. This makes them prone to inbreeding, as genetic diversity becomes more restricted in small groups. They can also be prone to the allele effect, where a population (inside a national park for instance) has optimised its available resources of food and other environmental factors, slowing down breeding as a result. These isolated populations are also at a much higher risk of being impacted by disease.  

How Rhino Adoption Helps

When you sponsor a rhino, you fund projects working with local communities to fight wildlife crime, protect prime habitat, and raise awareness of the threats they face. In addition, your support can help us:

  • Fight for an end in the trade of rhino horn by ensuring the toughest legislation measures are enacted.
  • Protect the remaining population of desert-adapted black rhinos by supporting research and monitoring programmes in Namibia.
  • Engage children and communities by funding educational workshops to nurture an interest and awareness in rhino conservation.

Meet our Rhino species ambassador, Inka

Adopt a rhino
Image credit: Skyhawk Photography

There are two species of African rhino – black and white. Inka is a particularly special type of black rhino – she is a desert-adapted black rhino, only found in the Namib Desert. The desert-dwelling rhinos are the last free-ranging population of black rhino in the worldroaming over 25,000km² of desert habitat with no enclosed fences. 90% of all desert-adapted black rhino, like Inka, live in the remote and rugged landscapes DSWF is helping to safeguard.

By adopting Inka, you are allowing DSWF to continue our vital work researching and collecting data on these unique black rhinos and their habitat in Namibia. This research is essential when developing future conservation strategies. 

Why your adoption is so important

Poaching is the biggest threat to all rhino species. Rhino horn is made of keratin, the same compound as human fingernails and pangolin scales. The horn is ground up and used in Chinese traditional medicines, despite no scientific proof of having any medicinal value.

DSWF has been proud supporters of African rhino species and the Indian one-horned rhino since our inception in 1984. We work on rhino protection initiatives on the frontline of conservation efforts, as well as lobbying for a total ban on the international trade in rhino horn.

We work with ground-based conservation partners protecting desert-adapted black rhinos in Namibia, and with the greater one horned rhino in India where we fund K-9 anti-poaching dog patrols and a conservation education project for children in addition to demand reduction campaigns around the consumptive use of rhino horn in Asia.

We aim to dispatch all orders within 7 working days. Parcels are sent 2nd class untracked with Royal Mail. International delivery is unavailable.