Eastern Black Rhinoceros

[Diceros bicornis michaeli]

The head and body length of the black rhinoceros is 10 to 12 feet. The shoulder height is 4.5 to 6 feet. They weigh between 2,000 to 3,000 pounds with a tail length of about 2.3 feet. They have two horns, with the anterior horn larger than the posterior, being about 1.6 feet long. Occasionally the beginning of a third posterior horn is evident. The upper lip is triangular shaped, prehensile, and very mobile. Hair is present on the ears and tail only. Both this rhino and the white rhino are dark in color, but the black rhino is somewhat darker. The coloration is dark yellow-brown to dark brown or dark gray. The female is generally the same as the male, with the horn usually longer and more slender. Black rhinos are massively built, with short legs. The skin is thick. Birds, called oxpeckers, ride on the rhino's back and eat ticks from the skin. They are also believed to warn the rhino of danger.

Location: Rhino Building

Join Us to Secure a
Future For Wildlife



The range of the black rhinoceros is Kenya, South Africa, and Namibia.


The black rhinoceros inhabits grassland and forest, generally in thick thorn bush or acacia scrub but also in more open country within about 25 km of permanent water.

Conservation Status
Critically Endangered
Primary Threats
Human Wildlife Coexistence, Hunting Illegal Trade

Gestation lasts Approximately 15 months.




Although its pugnacity has been exaggerated, the black rhino is unpredictable and can be a dangerous animal, some-times charging a disturbing sound or smell. The sense of smell is the primary method of detecting danger. It is very vocal in its communication, using growls, grunts, and most commonly a puffing snort. The usual gait is a fast walk or a bouncing trot. When charging it gallops. Territory is marked with dung piles and also by spraying urine. They wallow frequently and roll in dust. They feed primarily in the morning and evening and have become more nocturnal with the advent of hunters. Males are solitary. Females are usually found together with a calf and sometimes an older daughter. Those without young join a neighboring female. The young of both sexes also attach themselves to other animals. They are usually tolerant of others that they know in adjacent ranges.


Breeding in black rhinos occurs generally throughout the year, with females usually giving birth every 2 to 5 years. The single calf weighs about 88 pounds at birth. Mating is often preceded by the female attacking the male. A premating bond develops between the male and female, and they remain in close proximity to each other, even sleeping in contact.

Wild Diet

Branches, bark, leaves & vines; fallen fruit, long grasses, and green clover.

Zoo Diet

Herbivore diet, Alfalfa hay




External Links: