Black Rhino

Characteristics

The black rhinoceros is best known for its two horns protruding from the skull, which are made of keratin. They have thick layered skin which protects them from the sharp grasses and thorns found in the African savannah. The upper lip of a black rhino is actually prehensile, which it uses to grasp leaves and twigs while feeding. With poor eyesight, this animal relies more on smell and hearing, thanks to a wide range of rotation on the ears to help detect sounds. These stocky creatures aren't actually black as the name may indicate. Their gray skin is color dependant on local soil conditions and wallowing behavior.

Behavior

Black rhinos are solitary animals, with the exception of coming together to mate. They have a fairly small home range as long as food and water are readily available and they have been known to tolerate the presence of other rhinos. When threatened however, the black rhino has a reputation for being extremely aggressive. Their signature method of attack is to charge, which because of their poor eyesight can happen quite quickly and frequently.

Did You Know?  

  • Black rhinos are very fast and can get up to speeds of 35 mph running on their toes.
  • The word rhinoceros comes from two Greek words: Rhino means nose, and ceros means horn.
  • Because of their tank-like build and deadly horns, rhinos have no natural predators.

Our Animals

Jello, our male rhino, comes to us from Zoo Miami and our female, Doppsee, is from the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas.

Video

Scientific Name Diceros bicornis
Conservation Status IUCN: Critically Endangered
Size An adult black rhinoceros stands 55–67 inches in high at the shoulder and is 11–12 ft in length. As you may imagine, rhinos are hefty creatures, weighing from 1,800 to 3,100 lbs!
Average Lifespan 30-35 years in the wild and more than 45 years in captivity.
Wild Diet The black rhino is a herbivorous browser that eats leafy plants, branches, shoots, thorny wood bushes and fruit.
Black rhinos are found scattered throughout Southwestern Africa