Elephants and Rhinos [S-19-18]

Presenter: John McDonald
Location: SUNY: Kellas 104
Classes: 2 Sessions 1.5 hours
Dates: Fri 2:00 PM 05/03, 05/10

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Elephants, the largest terrestrial animals in the world, are threatened with extinction in the wild. Last year in Africa, 20,000 elephants were killed for their tusks, exceeding the elephant birth rate. The five remaining species of Rhinos continue to be some of the most endangered animals in the world. Between 1960 and 1995, the black rhino population dropped by 98%. Today often only 48 hours elapse between the time a rhino is killed in Africa and when its horn reaches Vietnam or China for distribution and sales. The resulting powdered product is valued for its curative and aphrodisiac properties. In this course we will examine the behavior, habitat, and social structure of these animals, their long history with humans. and whether they will have any future in a world dominated by the human species.

John McDonald retired from IBM and Arrow Electronics. He has had a lifelong interest in Africa. While in college he worked in primate research. After that, he spent time with the Clyde Beatty and Cole Bros. Circus where he observed performing elephants. He corresponded with George Adamson of “Born Free” fame and was offered the opportunity to conduct field research on Adamson’s lions in Kenya. He has made several trips to Africa where in addition to working as a volunteer with wild cheetahs at the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s research facility in Namibia, he has spent time observing elephants and rhinos at Etosha National Park. He also worked as a volunteer with researchers at a private rhino preserve in Namibia.

Cap: 100

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