FUN FACT: There’s actually no color difference between the White and Black Rhino species. The “white” component of the name may have resulted from the mistranslated Afrikaans word “wyd” meaning “wide”.
To start us off, the white rhinoceros consists of two subspecies: the southern white rhinoceros (Uganda has at least 22 rhinos found in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary) and the much rarer critically endangered northern white rhinoceros.
So, if you are considering visiting Uganda and are interested in the White Rhino, here are some thrilling and amazing facts about the Near Threatened White Rhino:
For the most part, Rhinos are solitary animals and like to avoid each other especially the adult bulls which are basically solitary and only associate with females in oestrus.
However, the White Rhino species are semi-social (most social of all rhino species) and may actually live in a group (of at least 10) called a crash.
Female rhinoceroses reach sexual maturity at around 6-7 years old, with a gestation period of 16 months, around 450 days (the second-longest in mammals after the Elephant) and the interval between calving is 3-4 years.
On the other hand, the male rhinoceroses reach sexual maturity between 10-12 years old. The average life span of rhinos is 45 years.
Diet and eating habits
White rhinos are eating machines. They spend about half of their waking hours eating. They graze on grasses, walking with their enormous heads (they actually have very heavy heads) and squared lips lowered to the ground.
White rhinos are very large animals that must eat up to 120 pounds of grass per day to sustain themselves. They will drink whenever and wherever they can find water but can survive up to five days without it.
White Rhinos have poor eyesight. Because of this feature, they have been called, irritable and clumsy animals. But they make up for this with their sharp sense of hearing and an acute sense of smell. They may find one another by following the trail of scent each animal leaves behind.
White rhinos have 2 horns, the foremost more prominent than the other. Females use their horns to protect their young ones, while the males use their horns in battle, either with a fellow bull or against attackers. The horns are continuously growing and if broken away, will subsequently grow back.
BUT this depends; if a Rhino is dehorned without cutting into the skull, it can grow back to almost full size after three years. However, if the rhinos skull is cut into while being dehorned, it could complicate or completely compromise the re-growth of the horn.
Well, despite their huge size and bulkiness, White rhinos can run as fast as 40 miles per hour. They are very agile too and can turn quickly in a very small space. Amazing, right? So do not get too close and personal with the White Rhino unless if you can much this level of agility.
Body / Physical Description
The White Rhino has a massive body and a large head, a short neck and broad chest. It can exceed 6,670 pounds (3,000 kilograms), have a head-and-body length of 3.35 – 4.2 meters (11 – 13.9 feet) and a shoulder height of 150 – 185 centimeters (60 – 73 inches).
The record size of the White Rhinoceros was about 3,600 kilograms in weight. The White Rhinoceros is native to north-eastern and southern Africa.
To throw in additional simple facts: White Rhinos are actually grey in color, they like wallowing in mad as a protective measure from the hot sun, to cool off and to ward off parasites.
Rhinos also have a symbiotic relationship with ox-peckers – birds that hitch rides on their backs, providing two services: removing ticks and warning the rhinos of impending danger (remember Rhinos have poor eyesight).
FUNNY FACT: With their poor eyesight, White rhinos will charge first and then see if there is anything to worry about after. ☺ SAD FACT: The prominent horn for which rhinos are so well known has been their downfall. Many animals have been killed for this hard hair-like growth which is revered for medicinal use in Asia and valued in Africa.
HOW CAN YOU HELP SAVE RHINOS? Reserve your spot on the Rhino tracking experience.