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White Rhinoceros

Scientific name:  Ceratotherium simun
Class:  Mammals
Continent:  Africa
Habitat:  Sabana
Diet:  Herbívoro
Weight:  2500 - 3500 kg
Size:  1,6 - 2 m
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Meet the White Rhinoceros!

The White rhinoceros is the second largest land mammal on the planet. Despite its impressive size, it is a very agile animal, capable of galloping at high velocity and turning at full speed.

It is solitary and has horns that are its most fearsome weapon. Their horns are, however, the reason why their hunting is so coveted: popular beliefs attribute aphrodisiac properties to them. Fortunately, it is a protected species (hunting is currently prohibited).

It has good hearing and smell, but poor eyesight. None of the African rhinos are actually white, but gray in color. In the case of the white rhinoceros, the name comes from the word "wyt" which means "wide" in Afrikaans and refers to the size of its lips and mouth. Males and females are practically the same, although females have longer and thinner horns.

They are distributed in the east and south of the African continent.

What are its habits?

One of its favorite things is to take mud baths. This serves to protect it from insects, as well as to regulate its temperature.

This is why it allows birds to perch on its back, so that they can clean its hard, furless skin of parasites.

It usually lives in open and dry forests, with good pastures to feed on (bulbs, grass and leaves: the basis of its diet).

Of nocturnal habits, it is the most sociable of the rhinoceroses and groups in mother-calf pairs or in herds of up to seven young.

Pregnancy lasts 18 months, and lactation lasts one year (although the baby rhino eats grass from the first weeks of life). The female becomes fertile again when the calf is two years of age: at that time the calf becomes independent, necessarily, since the mother has to mate again.

Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated


The third white rhinoceros baby born by artificial insemination, worldwide, was born at the Madrid Zoo Aquarium.

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Learn more about some of the Zoo's animals in a unique adventure

Learn more about some of the Zoo's animals in a unique adventure