Sunday, January 20, 2013
Fascinating -- Endangered RHINO
When: through April 28, 2013
I feared I'd have another long search on my hands when I went to see this exhibit. The display cases on the ground floor, by the Constitution Avenue entrance (where the website told me this exhibit would be housed), used to be located right in the vestibule, just beyond the guard stations. When I headed over to look at the items there, I found the cases were gone. I headed out into the main area of the ground floor, and found they'd been re-positioned in the hallway by the gift shop. This is probably a better place for them; they'll get more foot traffic here, as they were off to the side in the vestibule and not so noticeable.
One of the large cases contained this little exhibit on the rhinoceros. There are five different types of rhinos in Africa and Asia and sadly, all of them are endangered. Indiscriminate killing in the 19th and 20th centuries led to a terrible decline in the animal's population, but preservation efforts have led to a slight rebound in populations recently. Poaching and loss of habitat are still very serious threats to the species' survival. In fact, the rhinoceros is one of the most endangered species on earth. The Smithsonian Libraries support and enhance wildlife conservation biology, and this display shows several of the books in their collection on the rhinoceros. The materials in the case are a nice reminder that there's a lot more to the Smithsonian then just the museums.
Verdict: A nice add-on to a trip to the Natural History Museum - you can see everything in the case in about 10 minutes.