Black Rhino

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Scientific Name: Diceros bicornis

Also known as the hook-lipped rhino due to its prehensile upper lip there is in fact no difference in colour to the white rhino. It is considered the more aggressive of the two species and is the original member of the big five among the rhino’s.

Characteristics

Distribution
Once found throughout southern, central and East Africa black rhino numbers have shrunk dramatically since the 1960s (mainly due to poaching). The only black rhino populations in existence can be found in conservation areas and national parks in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

Social structure
Solitary creatures but individuals may gather at waterholes; bulls and cows will only come together to mate. A calf will accompany the mother until her next birth. They do establish home ranges that overlap with each other. The sizes of the home ranges depend on the availability of food and water.

Range differentiation
Differences between areas of occurrence have been nullified with the trans-location of individual animals from area to area.

Habitat
Found in arid and wet regions where shrubs and smaller trees provide food and shade. They need to drink water, however in drier areas they may only slake their thirst every five days.

Feeding
Generally browsers although they are known to graze new grass. In the Ngorongoro Crater grass forms a large part of their diet. The prehensile upper lip is used to grasp leaves and twigs. The horns are used to break off branches and twigs out of reach of the mouth.

Breeding
Calves are born throughout the year after a gestation period of about eighteen months. The calf can walk and suckle within hours of birth. When on the move, the calf walks behind the mother or at times alongside her.

Black rhino – more aggressive than the white rhino
Black rhino are considered more aggressive than the white rhino.
Black Rhino wallowing in the mud
Rhino enjoy a good mud wallow as it cools them down.