The Rhino Rush 5K Run/Walk presented by the Akron Zoo Chapter of AAZK is an event dedicated to preventing the extinction of rhinos from the wild through habitat preservation, surveillance, and innovative anti-poaching techniques. Rhinos aren’t the only species protected by our efforts, elephants, lions, tigers, orangutans, wild dogs, giraffes, and tapirs all share habitat with rhinos, and are protected by our efforts.
Funds raised by the Rhino Rush 5K will join funds from other American Association of Zoo Keepers chapters to support Bowling for Rhinos. Bowling for Rhinos, AAZK’s premier conservation fundraiser, was started in 1991 and has raised nearly 6 million dollars for rhino conservation. Bowling for Rhinos was started to protect vulnerable rhino populations throughout Africa and South East Asia. Rhinos are vulnerable to poachers who kill them for their horns, which some believe to be a cure-all for everything from the common cold to cancer. The sad truth is that a rhinos horn is actually a twisted spire of hair, made of the same material as your fingernails, keratin. Poaching of rhinos worldwide has skyrocketed, some estimate a 9000% increase in poaching in the last decade. Sadly, the rate of poaching has recently overtaken the birth rate of rhinos, due mainly to the involvement of organized criminal syndicates.