MYTHICAL/MAGICAL/REAL: The people who work tirelessly on behalf of rhinoceros must face a bit of a conundrum as they spread the important messages about conservation and protection. On the one hand, the rhino pretty much is one of the most mythical and mystical of animals, period and done and thank you. While some beasties could fit with other non-similar beasties under single headings, the rhino is remarkably distinct and singular, with those forward-march horns at the front of their beautiful faces and their three-toed feet. Mythical? From the pages of a storybook? Totally. And yet it is important to remember that rhinos are real, breathing earthlings among us, and they face a host of issues that demand our attention here, in this reality, and right now. World Rhino Day, which falls on Sept. 22, brings several of those causes to the forefront via special events and fundraisers and informational meetings and rhino-sweet celebrations. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park's keeper staff is joining up with the International Rhino Keeper Association for a fundraiser at Vinz Wine Bar in Escondido from noon to 3 p.m. on World Rhino Day, and if you're wondering if there shall be a rhino-y raffle, well, we're stamping feet, rhino-style, as a way to say yes.
BEYOND THE RAFFLE: A live auction and the selling of International Rhino Keeper Association calendars is on the docket, as well. You'll learn about the IRKA's efforts to "control poaching and protect ecosystems that support rhinos and species that share their habitats." Perhaps, by the end, you'll leave with a calendar, an auction item, and lots more knowledge about the rhinoceros, which is not mythical and which can very much benefit from our human-style TLC. Can you name the five different rhino species? Sure you can: Sumatran, Javan, white, black, and greater one-horned. They're not magical beings from some storybook, but assisting on their plotlines in a positive way is something we can all do, and is the message at the heart of World Rhino Day.