Here's the eighteenth post of the A to Z Challenge, and R is for Rhinoceros:
Panic ensued. After seconds which probably seemed like aeons to my parents, zookeepers hoisted me out and I was safe. The Rhinos probably barely noticed the fuss. I have a memory of it which I'm sure is mostly derived from hearing my father talk about it. I've always liked Rhinos ever since.
When Marco Polo saw a Rhinoceros on his travels he was convinced it was a Unicorn. Unlike most of their contemporaries, the Rhinoceros has barely been anthropomorphised and seems to have made very few appearances in fiction. Babar The Elephant's neighbours, and the animal that kills the hero's parents in Roald Dahl's James And The Giant Peach are two notable, if unflattering, exceptions (and talking of Rhino escapes: this is astonishing). One of the vehicles in M.A.S.K. was called Rhino, but I'm clutching at straws by mentioning it here.
It is a common misconception that powdered Rhinoceros horn is used as an aphrodisiac in traditional Chinese medicine, however it is prescribed for fevers and convulsions. Scientific trials have found no evidence of any medical benefits. The thought of a Rhinoceros being killed by man for its horn is obviously a horrific one, but the thought of a Rhinoceros being killed by man for its horn and the horn being absolutely useless to man, is unbelievably barbaric.
Three of the five species of Rhinoceros are defined as critically endangered. If you want to help prevent this situation worsening, please donate to Save The Rhino.