Northern White Rhinoceros is one of the two subspecies of White Rhinoceros. The other being Southern White Rhinoceros. They are usually found in several countries across East and Central Africa. They are majorly found in grasslands and savannah woodlands.
According to IUCN, the species are termed critically endangered or possibly extinct.
Taxonomy of Northern White Rhinoceros
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Perissodactyla
- Family: Rhinocerotidae
- Genus: Ceratotherium
- Species: C. simum
- Subspecies: C. s. Cottoni
- Trinomial name: Ceratotherium simum cottoni
The White Rhinoceros is nearly 4m long, 2m in height and can weigh up to 1600KG’s. The males are visibly larger than females. They feed on grasses which are around 3-4 inches in length. They live in a small pack, a pack of 10 and they fight with their horns.
The White rhinos are distinguished with a pronounced lump where the head hangs low, only when alarmed they tend to look upwards. White rhinos have 2 horns at the end of their nose where the front horn is large than the second one and is a main weapon for the rhinos. They mark their territory with urine and the territory ranges between 2-3kmsq which the alpha marks depending on availability of food and water. The female territory is more than that of males ranging from 2-30kmsq and it is often accompanied by its calf.
White Rhinos breeding period is not known however, the gestation period is between 480-548 days. The females give birth after 6-7 years of maturity and once they give birth, they do not for the next 4 years. The White Rhinoceros calf will follow its mother for around 3 years and then will separate. The White Rhinoceros is known to live up to 50 years, however not much study has been conducted.
The white rhinos are known to rest during the hotter part of the days and during the resting period, they wallow in the soil which helps them to keep cool and also wallowing acts as an insect repellent. They have poor eyesight and have more power in hearing and smell. They are known to be agile and can run up to 40km/h for short periods.
White Rhinoceros is known to be one of the critically endangered species due to the fact of it being poached for its horn, currently, there are no active male white rhinos and only 2 female white rhinoceros survive in wild which are heavily guarded. The last known male white rhinoceros died in the year 2018. The only major reason for the decline is due to poaching for its horn which was used as traditional Chinese medicine.
How Many White Rhinos are Left in the World?
It is said that there are less than 10 White Rhinos are left in the world which is protected by conservation centers in California & the Czech Republic.
But as of the latest census, there are only 2 known female rhinos in the wild which are heavily protected by 24/7 armed guards. There is no known existence of Male rhinos.