The state has changed for better and for worse in recent years. The southern white rhinoceros was once widespread throughout southern Africa. They were almost wiped out by poachers in the 19th century, with less than 100 individuals surviving.
In 1994, the IUCN classified the southern white rhinoceros as vulnerable, and because of a higher number of no, in 1996 it was changed to Low Risk. The illegal hunting in a few parts of its range has continued, leading to a status change in 2003 to Near Threatened.
There are 18,000 southern white rhinos today. They consist of 250 protected populations of southern white rhinos around the world. The ideal habitat for the southern white rhino is long and short grass savannah that are including trees and water. Although they can survive up to five days without water, they do drink when it is available.
Females are sexually mature at 6 to7 years old while the male matures later at 10 to 12 years old. After elephants, the southern white rhinoceros is the second-largest land mammal. The southern white variety is much larger than the black rhino and can weigh over 2 tons.
Bulls tend to be solitary while females and sub-adults are more social and live in small groups. Bulls establish the territories they defend. Groups of females and young ones move between male territories.
The southern white rhino has a gestation period of 16 months and generally gives birth every 2 to 3 years.
The lifespan is between 40 and 60 years.
Dietary rhinos are herbivores and primarily graze on the grass with their flat snouts as wide as lawnmowers.
Mother-calf pairs stay together for long periods of time. The adult male tends to be solitary.
People are the main predators of rhinos. Rhinos are poached for horns.
Rangers in Africa have sedated rhinos and cut off poachers’ horns. Since the horn is made of keratin, it doesn’t hurt to remove it.
Perth ZooPerth Zoo is part of a Breeding Program attempting to increase rhinoceros numbers and has successfully bred two calves – a male and a female. You can see our father and son pair of Rhinoceros in the African Savannah.