Southern white rhino

White rhino

Meet the second largest land mammal

Type

giant panda

Mammals

Area

Southern Africa

Southern Africa

Endangered Status

Some Threatened

facts

size
12 to 13 feet
length
The average bed length is 6.25 feet long.
Rhino size compared to an average bed.

White rhinos are 5 to 6 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh 3,700 to 5,000 pounds. Rhinos are the second largest land mammal, after elephants.

food
plants
grasses and leaves
herbivore
habitat
grassland, floodplain
Savanna habitat

description

Southern white rhino

description

Why "white" rhino?

White rhinos aren't really white, they're brownish gray. So, how did they get that name? Early European settlers in South Africa called these rhinos "widje," which may sound like "white" but is actually Dutch for "wide." Perhaps they got that name because of their broad lips and wide mouth—ideal for eating grass—or maybe it was because these big animals have wide bodies. 

Nola, the last Northern White Rhino at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park circa 2006.

Northern and southern

There are two types of white rhinos: northern white rhinos and southern white rhinos. By September 2019, only two northern white rhinos were known to exist on Earth, in Kenya. Southern white rhinos are found in southern Africa and are more numerous, although they still face threats from illegal hunting.

Southern white rhinos in Kenya.

Grazing in the grass

White rhinos live in the grasslands of southern Africa, where the weather is warm and there is an average of 27 inches of rainfall each year. They spend up to 10 hours a day eating grass, to get enough nutrients to feed their large bodies.

Baby Southern white rhino with mother.

Hanging out together

While adult male white rhinos live by themselves, females often live together in groups with their young, called calves. There may be as many as 14 rhinos in a group, which is called a "crash."