White Rhino(ceros) – Ceratotherium simum
The white rhinoceros or square-lipped rhinoceros is the largest and most numerous species of rhinoceros that exists. It has a wide mouth used for grazing and is the most social of all rhino species.
Its name “white rhinoceros” is mistranslated from Dutch to English. The English word “white” is said to have been derived by mistranslating of the Dutch word “wijd”, which means “wide” in English. The word “wide” refers to the width of the rhinoceros’ mouth. So early English-speaking settlers in South Africa misinterpreted the “wijd” for “white” and the rhino with the wide mouth ended up being called the white rhino and the other one, with the narrow pointed mouth, was called the Black Rhinoceros.
A Crash of White Rhinos at a Watering Hole
Facts on the White Rhino
This great beast has an average weight of 1700 kg for females and Males as much as 2500 kg. A new born will weigh anything from 40 kg to 65 kg.
The Rhino has the thickest skin of any land mammal at 2.5 cm thick over the entire body and can run much faster than you would think at 50 km/h. They seem to reach top speed after just a couple of steps which can make life interesting if you are on foot. Having said that it’s the Black Rhino you really need to watch out for if you are on foot.
Habitat is open grasslands as they are grazers consuming as much as 150 kg of grass per day.
White Rhinos Mother and Calf Grazing
They are amazing prehistoric looking beasts which have survived for many years until the impact of poaching of the Rhinos horn has brought them to the brink of extinction!
Sadly China uses the Rhino horn in a crushed form in there traditional medicine to cure Cancer and the general cold a flu! Traditionally the Horn is also used in many Arab countries as a handle for a special dagger which is given to a 12 year old boy symbolising a welcome into the adult world.
Rhino numbers sit at an estimated 14 000 left in the wild! Hluhluwe Umfolozi has 2300 of these great animals left which is a special on our tours their. In my opinion, the highest population of White Rhino in the World.
Comparison between the White and Black Rhino
Black Rhino(ceros) – Diceros Bicornis
Black Rhino Female photographed in Hluhluwe with missing Right ear
The black rhinoceros or hook-lipped rhinoceros is a species of rhinoceros, native to eastern and central Africa including Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Angola.
Facts on the Black Rhino
This great beast has an average weight of 1400 kg for a male and a female 800 kg. A newborn can weigh 35-50 kg.
The Black Rhino is considered the most dangerous of the two species and even in Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve Anti-Poaching teams have been Gaud by this more inquisitive and solitary beast. This has to do with the habitat they require which is thick dense forest as the feed off the Leaves and Twigs as apposed to grass like its big brother the White Rhino.
Their biggest threat outside of poaching is habitat loss and male on male conflict over territories and females for mating.
Black Rhino photographed in Hluhluwe game reserve
There numbers are so low they are critically endangered there is only about 4000 left in the wild. In Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve there are about 200 individuals.
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