Black Rhino

The black rhinoceros, often referred to simply as the black rhino (Diceros bicornis), is a species of rhinoceros native to eastern and southern Africa. 

Physical Characteristics: Black rhinos are large, heavily built mammals with thick, dark grey to black skin, which gives them their name. They have two distinctive horns made of keratin, the same protein found in human hair and nails. The front horn is typically longer than the rear horn and can reach lengths up to 1.5 meters (5 feet). Black rhinos have a pointed upper lip, which they use to grasp leaves, branches, and twigs while feeding.

Habitat: Black rhinos inhabit a variety of habitats across eastern and southern Africa, including savannas, grasslands, and shrublands. They are primarily found in areas with dense vegetation and access to water sources, where they can browse on leaves and twigs and wallow in mud to cool off.

Diet: Black rhinos are herbivores, feeding primarily on leaves, branches, shoots, and fruits from various plant species. They are browsers rather than grazers, meaning they prefer to feed on foliage rather than grass. Black rhinos use their prehensile lips to grasp and pull branches and leaves into their mouths while feeding.

Behavior: Black rhinos are generally solitary animals, although they may occasionally be seen in small groups, particularly mothers with calves or during breeding encounters. They are primarily active during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning and late evening, resting in the shade during the heat of the day. Black rhinos are known for their unpredictable behaviour and may be aggressive when threatened or startled.

Reproduction: Breeding in black rhinos can occur throughout the year, although there may be peaks in mating activity during certain seasons. After a gestation period of around 15 to 16 months, females give birth to a single calf, which remains with its mother for up to two to three years before becoming independent.

Conservation Status: The black rhinoceros is listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with populations declining due to poaching, habitat loss, and human-wildlife conflict. Conservation efforts, including anti-poaching measures, habitat protection, community-based conservation initiatives, and breeding programs, are underway to protect black rhinos and ensure their survival in the wild.

Overall, the black rhinoceros is an iconic and charismatic species, but it faces significant threats to its survival. Protecting their habitats and combating poaching are crucial for the long-term survival of black rhino populations in Africa.

Black Rhino Gallery


Location - Zoo
Threat Status - Critically Endangered

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