White Rhinoceros in Kruger National Park

One of the Big 5 the White Rhinoceros is more easily seen in Kruger National Park than the Black Rhinoceros.  The White Rhino got its name from the original description of the animal in Dutch of “wijd”, which referred to its wide mouth.  When translated it became “white” not wide.  The white Rhino differs from the black Rhino in it is a grazer eating primarily grasses where his wide mouth facilitates in cropping the grass.  The Black

IMG_2951Rhino is a Browsers waiting leaves and its mouth has a hooked-shaped allowing them to strip branches of its leaves. Both varieties have very poor eye sight, but their sense of hearing and small is very good.  When running or trotting the white Rhino keeps its head near the ground unlike the black Rhino who runs with its head held high.

Male White Rhino battle with competitor males for females and they will actively herd the female to prevent her from leaving the male’s territory.  Males are territorial and will regularly patrol their area advertising their status by copious scent marking with urine and their general use of dung middens.

IMG_6576The white Rhino favors grassy woodlands near water with short grasses and shade.  It is very fond of a mud wallow.  Apart from man there are no predators of the white Rhino.  Poaching is a big problem for the Rhino in Kruger and all over Africa.

Rhino reach maturity by the age of five  and females begin to breed about the age of seven.  Generally White Rhino have a single calf. Both varieties are solitary except during the breeding season. The two variety of Rhino are considered on of Africa’s most endangered animals due to the poaching due to the Asian desire for horn which they think has medical and aphrodisiac powers.  Poachers will kill for the smallest bit of horn.

While white Rhino are generally considered docile black Rhino are prone to charging when alarmed.

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