Extinct Animals : White Rhinoceros
The white, or more properly, square-lipped rhinoceros, once occurred extensively in suitable grasslands south of the Sahara. The name was derived from the Afrikaans "wyt," describing the wide, square muzzle, suited to grazing on grass.
The "black" rhinoceros has a narrow muzzle, with grasping lips, suited to browsing on leafy foliage. Both animals are, however, greyish in colour. Of the two races of square-lipped rhinoceros, only about 33 of the northern form survive in national parks. In southern Africa the animal came close to extinction in the late 1800s but responded to conservation measures and increased greatly. Although legally protected, the animals are threatened by loss of habitat due to the expansion of settlement, and by poaching for rhino horn, which is prized in some Asian countries for its supposed value as an aphrodisiac. The black rhinoceros, although more abundant and more widely distributed, is subject to the same pressures and is declining steadily.