The African Rhinoceros

The African Rhinoceros : Rhinoceros mostly referred to or  abbreviated as Rhino is a member of the extant species. There are five species two are native to Africa and the other remaining three species are natives to South and southeast Asia. The species which are found in Africa are the Black and White Rhinoceros. The white Rhinos are the biggest grazers ,they eat lots of vegetation, and they help in shaping the African landscape. This helps other animals and it keeps the balance in their ecosystem.  Rhinos promote ecotourism as they are among the African Big five animals  with the others being the Elephant, Lions , Leopards and Buffaloes this makes them popular for tourists to see.

 The white rhinos

This is the largest extant species. They are also known as square-lipped Rhinoceros. It has a wide mouth used for grazing, White Rhinoceros  consist of two species: This includes Southern white rhino and Northern white Rhinoceros. The northern white Rhinos have been categorised as highly endangered.

Southern Rhinoceros

This is the most common and widely spread species of Rhinos. This is one of the largest and heaviest land animals in the world ,the females can weigh up to 1,700kg and males weigh up to 2,300kg. The length of the body from the head is between 3.4 to 4 meters , with the shoulder height being between 160 to 186 centimetres. The White Rhino has a short neck, broad chest and large head. Within its snout there two horns, the front horn being larger than the other horn. The front larger horn has an average length of 60 centimetres in length and can grow to about 150 centimetres. Female Southern White Rhinoceros horns are thinner and longer than in males who have shorter horns. The animal body colour ranges from yellowish brown to slate grey. The body of the Rhino usually appear smooth and soft because the hair is sparse and most of the hair being found around the ears and the tail. They have flat and broad mouth for grazing and they are known to be purely herbivores.

Southern White Rhinoceros females reproduce every 2 to 3 years. Their pregnancy lasts 16 months, with the new born calves weighing about 45 kg at birth. The young calf becomes independent and start grazing when it’s about 2 to 3 years . They are found in five countries of East and Southern Africa,  Namibia, Zimbabwe Kenya and Uganda.

Southern white rhino almost became extinct due to poaching for rhino horn, which was of high demand in China used for traditional medicine. They are now found in Ziwa Rhino sanctuary in Uganda, Lake Nakuru National park and Kigio wildlife conservancy in Kenya.

Northern White Rhinoceros

This is one of the two subspecies of the White Rhinoceros, the other being Southern white Rhinoceros. This is nearly or almost extinct species from 19th March 2018 ,there are only two subspecies left called Najin and Fatu. They are at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, both of them are female. The two female rhinos were imported from the Dvur kralove zoo in Czech Republic. At Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya ,the Northern white Rhinoceros are under 24 hours armed rangers surveillance.

This home to the last two remaining Northern white Rhinos left in the world. They are both female the only surviving male which was named Sudan died in 2018. Najin is a  female which was born in captivity in 1989. They are currently living in Ol Pejeta Conservancy with her offspring Fatu. Her mother was Nasima and her father was Sudan. Fatu the offspring  was born in captivity too in 2000. Her mother is the other surviving Northern white rhino Najin and her father was saut.

Black Rhinoceros

The African Rhinoceros
The African Rhinoceros

This species of black Rhinoceros is a species of Rhinoceros which is native to Eastern and Southern Africa. The  Black Rhinos in Kenya, Botswana, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This species is known as the black rhinos but their colours vary from brown to grey.  This is another type of African Rhinoceros apart from the White Rhinoceros.

A mature black rhino has a height of between 140  to 180 centimetres from the shoulder and between 3 to 3.75meters in length.  A fully grown black rhino weighs from 800 to 1,400 kg. The female rhinos are smaller than the males. They have two horns which are on their snout ,the horns are made of keratin with the largest front horn measuring between 50 centimetres long and 140 centimetres , The African Rhinoceros

The recorded ever longest black  rhino horn measured about 1.5 meters in length.  Some rhinos may have a third smaller horn. The purpose of Rhinoceros horns is for its defence ,breaking branches, digging for roots and intimidation. This type of rhino is smaller than the white rhino and close in size to the Javan rhino of Indonesia. The black Rhinoceros has a pointed upper lip, which it uses to catch leaves and twigs when feeding. The difference between these two species is that the Black Rhinoceros is its smaller size, skull and ears and the position of the head, the species is more of a browser than a grazer.

The Black Rhinoceros thick skins is very important to the animals in the sense that it protect it from thorns and Sharon grasses. They have formed mutual relationship to some birds such as oxpeckers and egrets which land on their back to feed on the external parasites like mites and ticks. Black Rhinoceros are believed to have poor eyesight and the depend more on hearing and spelling. But research have proven that their eyesight is as good as that of a rabbit. This animal has good ears that is good in detecting sound and also a good sense of smell. The Rhinos  are known to be extremely aggressive, they have been spotted to charge at any potential threat hitting at tree trunks and termite moulds. Black Rhinoceros fights are very fatal and about 50% of males and 30% of females die of fighting related injuries, The African Rhinoceros

Black rhinos are very fast and they can run with a speed of 55 kilometers per hour . They eat shoots, thorny wood fruits and leafy plants and they are able to stay for up to 5 days without water in drought affected areas. The after mating it takes the female Black rhino 15 months to give birth to a calf which weighs between 35 to 50 kilograms, the calf follow the mother for just  three days. The calf can be preyed on by hyenas and lions and reach maturity when 5 to 7 for females and 7 to 8 years for males.

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