Rhinoceros - (Rhinos)

The rhinoceros, also known as the rhino is one of the animals that are known to be endangered. The white rhinos also known as the square-lipped rhinos are divided into two sub-species, the southern white rhinoceros and the Northern rhinoceros. The northern white rhinos being critically endangered as there are only 3 that exist in captivity. The southern white rhinos, on the other hand have a bigger population of about 20,405 as of 2013.

Rhinos in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary - Uganda

The physical appearance of a rhino is quite unique, it has distinctive flat broad mouth, a relatively large head that is supported with a prominent muscular hump, a short neck, humongous body and broad chest. It has two distinct horns on its snout one being larger than the other almost 1 meter in length, sometimes a meter and a half.

The length of the head is about 3.5 - 4.6 meters and the height to the shoulder is about 1.8 - 2 meters. In weight, the male are heavier than the female with 2,400kgs for the male and 1,600kgs for the female. The colour of the rhinos ranges from yellowish brown to slate grey, with sparsely distributed body hairs on the whole body and mostly concentrated on the ear fringes and the tail bristles.

The rhinos look like prehistoric creatures as they date back millions of years to the Miocene era and are also mammals.

The white rhinos are usually social though some are more introverted than others. They live in home ranges that usually overlap with each other as they share waterholes, feeding grounds and even wallows. They tend to live where they like to eat like in the savannas that have water holes, mud wallows, shade trees and the grasses that they graze on. The rhinos have a very good sense of smell and hearing but have a very poor eyesight and can't see very well thus sometimes charging for no reason.

The white rhinos can live to about 50 years of age. Their gestation period lasts about 16months and the mothers give birth to a single calf two to three years.

In Uganda we have the southern white rhinoceros. You can find these at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary as there are about 20 of them. Some of them were born there and therefore are Ugandan, some were donated to the Rhino Fund for example from the Disney Animal kingdom in the USA while others were captured in the wild.

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