African Wildlife - Black Rhino (Biceros bicornis)
The Black Rhino, once wildly distributed over Africa, has been
declared an endangered specie. With humans as its only enemy the
Black Rhino has been hunted down to the verge of extinction with
the demand of the Rhino horn in the far east playing a large role
in the severe hunting down of the Rhino. As recently as a decade
ago there was believed to be about 15 000 Rhino's in Africa, recent
statistics show that this figure has dramatically decreased to
fewer than 2 500.
The Black Rhino, also called the "Hooked Lipped" Rhino,
has a prehensile upper lip which is used for browsing. This upper
lip is the main distinguishing factor from the White Rhino which
has a larger squared-off lip that is used for grazing. The Black
Rhino is also a lot less sociable than the White Rhino. They tend
to be solitary animals that prefer thick bushy habitats. Their
diet consist mainly of leaves, twigs, bushes and sometimes grass.
Growing up to heights of 1,6 meters and weighing up to 1100kg
the Black Rhino has a life expectancy of between 30 and 40 years.
They carry two horns that are made up of dense fibre and although
they are nearsighted they make up for this with their keen sense
of smell. Black Rhino's are surprisingly fast runners and running
on their toes they can reach speeds of up to 35 mph.
The male Black Rhino reaches sexual maturity at the age of seven
to nine years, with the female reaching sexual maturity at the
age of four to six years. Although the breading season can be
through out the year it reaches its peaks at spring and fall.
Single births take place and a calf is born after a gestation
period of 16 to 19 months.
African Wildlife Paintings by South African Artist