Saturday the 22nd of September is World Rhino Day. It is an occasion that has been engineered to foster our appreciation for the second largest land mammal on earth. An occasion to commemorate the sickening number of rhinos lost to poaching every year. And hopefully, it will become an occasion to educate those who can have the biggest influence on the preservation of this remarkable animal.
Here at ThePogg we are not straining under the weight of our own deluded, self-righteous belief in the reformative power of a video slots game. We are quite aware that bigger, better and more credible outlets have tried and failed to alter the centuries of tradition that have dragged the rhino to the very edge of existence, teetering on the brink of extinction. We are aware that this is not an industry that cares and that creating the impression you do is often worse than doing nothing at all.
Against our better judgement we are going to describe the plight of the rhinoceros, share with you a few interesting facts and then shamelessly bestow on you a list of some of the better rhino themed slots games out there.
To kick things off started I’d like to impart something that is usually thin on the ground when discussing the plight of the rhino; genuinely good news. The Southern White Rhino is currently the most successful species of rhino and the only one not considered to be vulnerable to extinction or critically endangered. Found predominately in South Africa, the White Rhino is one of the largest species of rhino, weighing in on average somewhere between 1300 and 2500kg. They have a huge head and body, with a prominent muscular hump that makes the Southern White Rhino the most impressive looking in the species.
There are currently somewhere between 19 and 22 thousand Southern White Rhinos living in Africa today. When linked to rhino population those numbers are stratospheric. This is all the more impressive when you consider that the Southern White Rhinos came dangerously close to extinction during the early part of the 20th century. It is estimated that numbers fell to as low as 20 before a series of pain staking conservation projects brought them up slowly over the resulting 100 plus years. Whilst the Southern White Rhino is a symbol of hope for other conservation projects, it is also a very literal lesson on the time and patience needed for any animal to prosper once we our trigger finger locked firmly in their sights.
The fate of the Northern White Rhino exemplifies this perfectly. There are now no male Northern White rhinos left in the world and as of March this year there were only 2 known to be left in the wild. If you perform a Google search for the Northern White Rhino you’ll find the majority of recent articles are now written in the past tense. Described on Wikipedia as “functionally extinct”, it would appear that time has now run out for this remarkable sub-species of White Rhino.
When trying to understand why the fate of the two White Rhinos differs so dramatically a factor as obvious as location has to be taken into account. At one time the Northern White Rhino could be found in Uganda, South Sudan, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, all war-torn countries within North East Africa. Countries where the infrastructure needed to protect the Northern White Rhino has either never existed or is too risky for outsiders to consider developing. The Northern White Rhino’s demise is proof of the care and protection that is now needed to keep this incredible animal in existence. It is proof that when humanity is left untethered to do as we please that the damage we can cause is often irreparable.
As for the rest of the Rhino population, there are less than 5 and half thousand Black rhinos left, less than 4 thousand Greater One-Horned rhinos , less than 80 Sumatran rhinos and only an estimated 67 Javan rhinos left alive in the world today.
If there is to be any success story following the extinction of the Northern White Rhino then it has to be the preservation of the species that remain. We have to learn from what went wrong in Northern Africa and what worked with the Southern White Rhino to ensure that the Javan, Sumatran, Greater One-Horned and Black Rhino do not become confined to zoos, grainy wildlife documentaries and museums.
The problem always has and can only be solved through education. We cannot simply tell those who imbibe powered keratin that they are idiots who would have as much chance of curing cancer if they were to start biting their fingernails. We cannot belittle thousands of years of tradition because we know that a can of Irn Bru or Red Bull is a more effective hangover cure or that they’d be better off asking their doctor for a course of Viagra to fix their broken PP. We need to educate without judgement, without allowing condemnation to muffle our words. We need to speak to the those young enough and malleable enough to allow for change and inspire the next generation to begin their own traditions, ones where the preservation of the rhino holds more cultural significance than the placebos that will result in their extinction.
And if you think it’s hard to quash your contempt for the belief that rhino horn can cure aliments and make us strong and virile, it pales in comparison to the ground shaking, earth rattling rage that explodes the mind when you realise that for some rhino horn is nothing more than status symbol. That the near extinction of one of earth’s most remarkable creatures is an inconsequential by-product of a blinged-up mantel-piece, an ego boosting conversation starter to show off with when the neighbours come round for caviar-stuffed, truffle topped wagyu steaks.
As more rhinos die and as it becomes increasingly difficult to nab a fancy new trinket the price continues to rise and the clamour rises deafeningly with it. You can criticise the poachers, the traffickers, the merchants all you want. At the end of the day the responsibility lies with those who have who create the demand. Their hands are bloodier than the ones pulling trigger, than the hands who sever the great beast apart, than the retailer who can make up to 90 thousand dollars per kilogram of horn sold.
Hopefully, one day we’ll think of the rhino under different terms, ones where we can speak about them like any other animal. In the future maybe we’ll Google “Rhino Stats” and instead of poaching numbers we’ll find out how much they weigh, what speed they run at, what foods they eat, how far they travel in a day or how tall they are. That day seems a long way off, but then so did the chances of the Southern White Rhino still being around and prospering a hundred years ago.
Great Rhino is a five reel slot game with 20 different paylines and 2 bonus features. The game places the rhino at centre stage, in this instance it’s the iconic Southern White Rhino that has been depicted on the reels in all its repentant glory. The game uses the African plains as its backdrop, with the sun either rising or setting to create a rich orange radiance that magnifies the strength and power of the rhino. The bonuses are relatively good fun and there’s even a rhino stampede to signal the start of one of them.
Play the game here for free.
The Jumanji game takes full advantage of the source material, with the reels nestled in the middle of a board game around which you can actually steer your counter during the bonus features. Given that the game is set in the jungle, one can only assume that the Rhino symbol is a depiction of the Sumatran or the Javan rhinoceros and as the rhinos have two horns we can narrow things down even further and announce with trepidatious confidence that the rhino in question is a Sumatran.
Play the game here for free.
Finally, to round off this week’s theme we have the Hot Safari slot game. Here the rhino has to play second fiddle to the lion, with the king of the jungle being the most important symbol in the game. Again, the game looks very similar in colour and design to a few of the other games we have looked at and like the Great Rhino game you have two bonus features to keep you occupied here.
Play the game here for free.
This game has a very similar aesthetic feel to Great Rhino, with similar colours and design, although there is a slight reduction in the overall quality of the detail. This time you have 6 reels and instead of paylines you’re matching 3 or more symbols to get your wins. Essentially you have two very similar games but a choice in the gameplay between them. So far I’ve tried to work out what rhino is being depicted in each game and this instance I’ve decided that based on the other animal symbols we must be in Northern Africa and so that can only mean that the now almost extinct Northern White Rhino is our armoured mammal of choice here.
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