Scientific name:

Ceratotherium simum

 

What makes it special:

The white rhinoceros, referred to in the following just as rhino, is the largest and most numerous of the five rhino species. It is one of two species found in Africa, the other being the more endangered black rhino. Both count as one of the Big Five.

 

Recommended caliber:

.375 H&H is generally the minimum with all the Big Five. However, this one has very thick skin and therefore a larger caliber is often advised.

Rhino hunting - One of the Big five

This enormous animal is easily recognized by the sheer size of it, the thick skin and wide mouth. At the same time, differences in these three characteristics is what makes you able to distinguish the white from the black rhino, which is smaller in size, darker in color and not square-lipped as the white one.

The most characteristic thing about rhinos in general, however, is the dense horns carried by both genders. They are continuously growing, but unfortunately highly coveted among poachers.

 

Hunting method

When hunting them, be advised that they have extremely good hearing and a good sense of smell, so the fact that they don’t see too well doesn’t mean they won’t know you’re there if you don’t hunt upwind. Move slowly and quietly. But don’t expect your target to move slowly and quietly; it can easily reach a speed of 40 kilometers/hour (25 miles/hour) over short distances. 

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Know the animal

Appearance

The darkness of the skin is of course one way of distinguishing the white from the black rhino, although the latter doesn’t exactly have black skin. An even more characteristic difference is the shape of the lips, the white species being much more square-lipped with a wider mouth (the name white rhino is actually a mistranslation; the white-part of the name originates from the Dutch word for wide). Also, it caries its head low while the black species caries it high.

 

Habitat

Grassland and savannah are main habitats. More than 98% of all white rhinos either live in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya or Uganda.

 

Diet

It’s a grazer (in contrast to the browsing black rhino) and it uses its wide, flat mouth almost like a lawn mower to eat large quantities of grass. If water is available, it drinks twice a day, but it can live 4-5 days without water. It spends half of the day eating.

 

Predators

Due to its size, it has no natural enemies other than humans. Even young ones are rarely attacked, as the mother is always right behind to protect them until they reach a size where no one dares attacking them. If a young one is attacked, it’s typically by a large cat or a crocodile.

 

Behavior

It’s quite curious compared to its black cousin, far more placid and less prone to attack. Social by nature, it’s relatively docile, except when mating or with calves. Breeding bulls can be quite territorial.

 

Life cycle

Lives up to 40 years. The gestation period is 16-18 months and it carries a single calf at intervals of 2-3 years. When she gets pregnant again, the mother chase off her current calf. Females reach sexual maturity at the age of 6–7 while the males are almost twice as old. They mate throughout the year.

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Animal Facts

Weight and size

Male:

Average weight: 2,300 kg (5,100 lb)

Shoulder height: 1.7 to 1.85 m (5 ft 7 in to 6 ft 1 in).

Head and body length: 3.7 to 4 m (12 to 13 ft)

 

Female:

Average weight: 1,700 kg (3,700 lb)

Shoulder height: 1.6 to 1.77 m (5 ft 3 in to 5 ft 10 in)

Head and body length: 3.4 to 3.65 m (11.2 to 12.0 ft)

 

The largest one recorded: About 4,500 kg (9,900 lb)

 

Habitat

Mainly grassland and savannah. 98% of the white rhinos live in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya or Uganda.

 

Diet

It’s a grazer that can live for 4-5 days without water. It spends half of the day eating.

 

Predators

Due to its size, it has no natural enemies other than humans.

 

Life cycle

Lives up to 40 years. The females carries a single calf at intervals of 2-3 years.

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