Scientific Name:
Diceros bicornis

Conservation Status:
Critically endangered and extinct in many of the original range countries

Where to see them:
African Plains

Fun Facts:

Rhinos are in the same order as horses.

Rhino horns are made of keratin, the same material that is in human hair and fingernails.

Black rhinos can run up to 30 miles per hour.


 Black Rhinoceros

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Males and females are similar in size, standing about 5 feet tall and weighing 2,000 to 3,000 pounds.

Southeastern Africa

Woodlands, savannas and grasslands

Black rhinos are solitary and territorial animals; however, their home ranges may overlap particularly where there are water sources, wallows and feeding sites. Black rhinos eat and are most active between dusk and dawn. During the day when the temperatures are high, rhinos wallow in mud to protect their skin from the sun and biting insects and then find a shady place to rest.

Black rhinos are browsers and eat twigs, branches, and leaves from various shrubs and trees.

Life Cycle
Black rhino calves are born after a 15 month gestation. Calves weigh between 50-90 pounds at birth and usually start to eat solid foods between the first and second week of life. Black rhino calves begin to wean at about 2 years of age and their mothers will force them to leave when she gives birth to her next calf. Females reach sexual maturity at 4-5 years, and males will learn to defend their territory and compete for females by the age of 10. Black rhinos can live more than 40 years.

Some of My Neighbors (IN THE WILD)
Lions, lappet-faced vultures, oxpecker birds, crocodiles, giraffes and elephants

Population Status & Threats
Rhinos have been hunted to the brink of extinction for their horns. Rhino horns are a popular commodity in black markets around the world and are used in traditional medications. Some cultures carve them into ornamental dagger handles.

Zoo Atlanta Conservation Efforts
Zoo Atlanta is a member of the AZA Black Rhino Species Survival Plan.

Zoo Atlanta works with organizations in Zimbabwe to identify and monitor black rhino populations and curb poaching. The conservancies we support cover more than one million acres that currently harbor the bulk of Zimbabwe’s black rhino population. Zoo Atlanta’s Conservation Endowment Fund provides financial support to the International Rhino Foundation for anti-poaching patrols and veterinary equipment. The Endowment also provides financial support for operational expenses at the Lewa Rhinoceros Conservancy.

The Georgia Chapter of the Association of Zookeepers (AAZK) hosts an annual Bowling for Rhinos fundraiser.