White Rhinoceros

The White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is also called the Square-Lipped Rhinoceros. Most rhinos in zoos are Southern White Rhinoceroses. There are only two Northern White Rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium cottoni) left in the world – two females – and they are in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya under 24-hour armed guard. There were three Northern White Rhinos, but Sudan, a male, died of old age on 19 March 2018 at the age of 45.

The White Rhinoceros is an African mammal and the largest rhinoceros in the world. It is grey and hairless, except for hair on the ears and tail tuft.

It has a wide mouth, a broad body, a large head, a short neck, and stumpy legs with three toes on each foot. It has two horn-like keratin growths, one behind the other. The front horn is larger than the second horn. The front horn is about 60 centimetres (2 feet) long.

The White Rhinoceros also has a hump on the back of its neck. It also has the widest set nostrils of any land based animal.

They can grow to about 4 metres (13 feet).

Their straight mouth is good for eating grass. It is a herbivore grazer. It spends about half of the day eating. When eating, White Rhinos swing their head from side to side. Rhinos can eat 60-80 kilograms of food a day and up to 80 litres of water. Therefore the White Rhinoceros is found in grasslands and savannas.

white rhino

White Rhinoceros

White Rhinoceroses live in crashes or herds of up to 14 animals. Most adult males, called bulls, are solitary animals.

Females are pregnant for 16 months before giving birth to a live baby, called a calf. Calves take 2-3 days to walk, and will drink their mothers’ milk for about a year, but they will continue to stay close to their mother until another baby is born.

white rhino

White Rhinoceros and her calf

Adult White Rhinos have no natural predators due to their size.

White Rhinos can live to be up to 40–50 years old.

There are five types of rhino: White Rhinos and Black Rhinos live in Africa, whereas the One Horned Rhino, the Javan Rhino and the Sumatran Rhino live in Asia.

white rhino

White Rhinoceros



Photographer: Martina Nicolls



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