White rhinoceros

Because some people still believe that a rhinoceros' horn has medicinal properties, rhinos are still often hunted by poachers. At the turn of the previous century, there were only tens of white rhinos left. Thanks to good protection, the number in South Africa has now gone back up to 11,000 rhinoceros. In a lot of other habitats their numbers are still decreasing. Specially trained people are trying to prevent the poaching.

Already over twenty births

Since 1972, when the first animals came to the safari park, over twenty rhinoceros have been born. With this high number, the park is making a valuable contribution to the European breeding programme. After a gestation period of around one and a half years, a calf is born. A young rhinoceros usually stays with its mother for 2 to 3 years. Often until another calf is born. Rhinoceros are fully grown at around 5 years old.

Own Territory 

When a bull rhinoceros is around ten year old, he tries to mark out his own territory. He does this with dung and by spraying urine. He lays piles of dung around the edges of his territory. After he has thrown his excrement onto one of these piles, he make scraping movements with his back feet. By doing this, his feet become smeared with dung. Even walking around he leaves a scent that can be recognised by others.

Short Relationship

If a bull smells in a female's urine that she is fertile, he will try to approach her. If he can get close enough to make physical contact, he will lie his head on her rear. Then he will try to mount her. It can sometimes take up to twenty hours before a cow will allow the bull to mate with her. This takes around thirty minutes. After a few days, the relationship is over and they go their separate ways.

White rhinoceros

Ceratotherium simum

  • Habitat:  South Africa and rarely in East-Africa
  • Food: Eats grass 
  • Age: Lives to 40 years old
  • Weight: Male 2,000 to 3,500 kg, female 1,500 to 1,700 kg
  • Young: Has 1 calf, after a gestation period of 16 to 18 months.
  • Where can I see them?: On the walking safari, car safari, boat safari and bus safari

Nice to know:

Thick skinned? A rhinoceros may well have a thick skin, but it is still sensitive. They regularly take mud baths to protect them against insects and heat. They hate being stung, just like you! A thick layer of mud is also lovely and cool.