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The white rhinoceros or square-lipped rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is one of the five species of rhinoceros that exist. It has a wide mouth used for grazing and is the most social of all rhino species. The white rhinoceros consists of two subspecies: the southern white rhinoceros and the much rarer northern white rhinoceros.


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Both black and white rhinoceroses are actually gray. They are different not in color but in lip shape. The difference in lip shape is related to the animals' diets. White rhinos graze on grasses, walking with their enormous heads and squared lips lowered to the ground. White rhinos live on Africa's grassy plains, where they sometimes gather in groups of as many as a dozen individuals. Females reproduce only every two and a half to five years. Their single calf does not live on its own until it is about three years old. Rhinos have sharp hearing and a keen sense of smell. They may find one another by following the trail of scent each enormous animal leaves behind it on the landscape. Most white rhinos in zoos are southern white rhinos; in 2001 it was estimated that there were 777 white rhinos in captivity worldwide.The fully captive northern white rhino population consists of only three animals, and is maintained in two zoological institutions in the U.S.A. and the Czech Republic. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park in San Diego, California, has two northern white rhinos, both of which were wild-caught.

White rhinoceros in Lake Nakuru National Park

White rhinos are an endangered speices because heavily hunted for its horn. In some societies the horn is considered to have medicinal properties, and in other it's highly sought after for ornamental purposes. It's still at risk due to poaching, and the relatively small numbers of animals that still exist in the wild.

Scientific Name Ceratotherium simum Lifespan 35 to 40 yearsDietHerbivore. Grasses. Predators and ThreatsHumans.HabitatGrassland, open areas; Southern Africa.

White southern rhinos have an estimated 17,460 wild-living animals. Northern rhinos a critacally endangered with seven confirmed individuals.


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