Black Rhinoceros
Status Critically Endangered
Diet Herbivore
To unlock the black rhinoceros in challenge or campaign games, you must earn a 3-star zoo fame rating for your zoo.


  • Rhinoceros is the common name for five species of enormous mammals with one or two horns projecting from their snouts. Rhinos are among the biggest and heaviest land animals alive today, exceeded in size only by the elephant and the hippopotamus. They have thick, pillar-like legs, with three toes covered with broad, hooflike nails. Rhinos are legendary for their poor eyesight, but their senses of smell and hearing are acute. Although they look clumsy, rhinos can swivel around rapidly to face danger, and if threatened, can charge at speeds of up to 50 km/h (about 30 mph).
  • Relatively fearless and unpredictable, the immense black rhinoceros will charge people or animals, usually stopping just before impact. The largest black rhinos weigh 1.3 metric tons and are 9.8 feet (3 meters) tall. They have two horns on their snouts, and in some black rhinos, the larger, front horn extends 32 inches (81 centimeters). Used to make dagger handles in Yemen and medicines and aphrodisiacs in East Asia, a single rhino horn can bring thousands of dollars on the black market. Consequently, the black rhinoceros and its close relative, the white rhinoceros, have been hunted nearly to extinction. Black rhinos once ranged throughout Africa south of the Sahara but are now restricted to parks scattered throughout the range. To prevent inbreeding and to ensure the survival of the species, park personnel truck rhinos between isolated reserves for mating.
  • To avoid the heat and biting flies, this armor-plated mammal spends hours each day wallowing in mud holes in the floodplains of the Ganges and other rivers of northeast India. With a single horn and wartlike bulges on its shoulders and upper legs, this primitive-looking, solitary animal feeds on grasses and aquatic plants. Fewer than 1,400 Indian rhinoceroses survive today.
  • Rhinos live in warm climates, and are found only in Africa and Asia. The two African species are the white rhinoceros, a relatively placid animal that is the largest of all rhino species, reaching a weight of over 3 metric tons, and the black rhinoceros, which is about half as heavy as the white rhinoceros but much more aggressive. The Asian species include the Indian rhinoceros, which has skin that looks like a suit of armor, and two much rarer species, the Sumatran rhinoceros and the Javan rhinoceros. African rhinos have two horns, but depending on their species and sex, Asian rhinos have two horns, a single horn, or none at all. As a result of illegal trade in rhinoceros horn and habitat destruction, the populations of the black, Sumatran, and Javan rhinos have suffered a sharp decline in recent years, and are now close to extinction in the wild.

Fun Facts

  • A rhinoceros's horn grows throughout its life.
  • Poachers kill rhinoceroses for their horns, which are ground and used in traditional Chinese medicine.
  • When they are threatened, rhinoceroses sometimes charge toward a distressing scent or sound.
  • Rhinoceroses have extremely poor vision, but an acute sense of smell.

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