Bowling for Rhinos to raise money to help endangered rhinoceroses

GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- Bowling for Rhinos returns to Glendale on Saturday to help to raise funds for endangered rhinoceros species around the globe.

The fundraising event has been organized by the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers. Over the past 27 years, volunteers and donors nationwide have helped raise more than $6.5 million, with contributions from the LA chapter topping the list after $50,000 was raised in the 2016 bowl-a-thon event.

"There are fewer than 100 individuals left in the wild, they are critically endangered and we want to make sure they stick around for years to come," said Mike Bona, a zoo keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo and President of the AAZK Los Angeles Chapter.

Bona said nearly 3,000 rhinos have been killed in the past couple of years. Among the most endangered species include the Javan and Sumatran rhinoceros.

"There's a myth that their horn has medicinal purposes, that it can cure anything from a hangover to cancer," Bona explained. "In actuality, the horn is made of keratin, the same material in our fingernails and hair. It can't cure anything."

Bona said money from illegal poaching is often tied to narcotics, crime syndicates, even terrorist groups.

"They kill them, they take the horn and they leave the rest," he said.

All the proceeds from Saturday's Bowling For Rhinos fundraiser will benefit the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya and the International Rhino Foundation.

Bowling for Rhinos will be held from 6 p.m. to midnight at Jewel City Bowl located at 135 S Glendale Ave. in Glendale. People interested in attending or donating can visit
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