White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) Fact Sheet, 2003
Northern White Rhino
Image Credit: San Diego Zoo Global. All Rights Reserved.
Describer (Date): Burchell (1817)
Species: C. simum
Subspecies: C. s. simum (southern)
Body Length (head body): 360 - 420 cm (142-165 in)
Tail Length: 80 - 100 cm (31-39 in)
Pelage: Hair only at tip of tail and fringes of ears
Horns: Two horns on rostrum, one in front of the other
|Distribution & Status||Behavior & Ecology|
Range: Disjunct populations in east-central Africa and southern Africa
Habitat: Grasslands and savannahs; do not like closed forest or thick brush.
CITES Appendix: C. s. simum from South Africa Appendix II; all other populations of both subspecies Appendix I
Population in Wild:
Locomotion: Fairly sedentary; do not disperse very rapidly
Activity Cycle: Most active (feeding) early morning and late afternoon; rest during midday. At night, alternate between resting and feeding
Social Groups: Not very social. Territorial bulls almost always alone. Females with calves or unrelated adolescents. Groups of adolescents
Diet: Consume short grasses
Predators: Humans; young may be vulnerable to lions.
|Reproduction & Development||Species Highlights|
Gestation: 16 months
Litter Size: 1
Age at Weaning: c.1 year
Longevity: + 50 years
Feature Facts: C.s. simum went from 20 individuals left in 1895 to 11,640 in 2002. The number had increased to 20,405 by 2013. C. s. cottoni decreased from 2,230 in 1960 to about 30 individuals in 2002, representing a 98.7% decline. This number had further declined to only 3 as of 2015 November 22.
Although C.s. simum is considered a conservation success story, rhinos are still heavily hunted for their horns, and therefore must be carefully managed in the wild.
Society Press: San Diego Zoological Society was the last zoo in the world to have C. s. cottoni in its collections. Nola, a 41 year old female, passed away 2105 November 22. The remaining three northern white rhinos are two females and a male at Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy.
94 southern white rhinos (C. s. simum) have been born at the Wild Animal Park between 1971 and 2015.
About This Fact Sheet
© 2015 San Diego Zoo Global. Minor updates in 2013, 2015.
How to cite: White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) Fact Sheet, 2003. c2015. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/whiterhino.
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Jan 15)
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