White Rhino Facts:
One of Africa's Big Five, the 'White Rino', also known as the Square-lipped Rhino, are divided into 'northern' (almost extinct) and 'southern' (Ceratotherium simum simum
The name 'white' has nothing to do with its colour, the common understanding is that its name is derived from the Dutch word for 'wide', describing its mouth, which is ideally adapted for grazing. Conversely, the 'Black Rhino
' (Diceros bicornis) name is simply to distinguish from the 'White Rino'. It has a hook-shaped top lip.
Second only in size to Elephants, in Kenya, the White Rhino's square-muzzled head is always kept close to the ground. Standing nearly as tall as a man, they weigh up to 2.7 tons.
It has a large hump (unlike the Black Rhino), on its neck / shoulder. The hump contains huge muscles, to support the weight of its head. A giant heart, weighing 22lbs (10kg) pushes blood around its body.
The leg bones are immensly strong, not just supporting its weight, but enabling the White Rhino to trot, canter and gallop. Featuring feet with three toes, just like its closest relatives, the horse and tapir, the White Rhino bears most of its weight on its third toe. For all its bulk, the White Rhino can travel from 0 - 30mph (50kph) in just 2 seconds and are extremely agile.
The skin of a White Rhino is up to 4" (10cm) thick in places, enabling it to withstand the stress of fighting with horns. Its horns are made from keratin (the same substance as our hair and nails). Despite which, Asain communities have pushed up the price of Rhino horn to the point it is now 3 times the value of gold.
White Rhinos are usually found in areas of short-grass savanna, with areas of bush for cover from the sun. It requires water for drinking and wallowing. A more sociable animal than its cousin, the White Rhino is sometimes found in small, loose-knit groups, with a dominant bull. Bulls have dungmiddens, marking their territory.
After a gestation period of 480 days (16 months), which is second lengthiest to the Elephant, a single calf is born, weighing around 40kgs The calf will stay with its mother for 2-3 years, being kicked out when the mother is due to have another calf. The White Rhino will live for 40-50 years.