By Harvey

white rhinoceros

Ceratotherium simum

White rhinoceros eat grass.  Their heads are very low down so that grazing is easy.  This is different to black rhino's who can lift their head higher and eat bushes and leaves from small trees.

The food they eat is not very good so they have to eat a lot to get enough nutrition.  Their gut has evolved in a particular way to make sure they get the most from everything they eat.


Females have one baby every 2-3 years.

The mums chase their baby away when it is about 3 years old and they think it is ready to look after itself.  Then they are ready to have another baby.


White rhino's are the third biggest mammals on land.  Only the hippo and the elephant are bigger.

They are 4m long at full size and weigh 2,300kg.

When a baby is born it weighs between 40-60kg.

We took these pictures in Hluhluwe-iMflozi Game Park near Richards Bay in South Africa.  We saw lots of rhinos eating, rolling in the mud and play-fighting.

Here is a story about 'why rhino charges'. Do you think it's true? 

Fun Facts


A healthy white rhinoceros can live for 45 years.  That's as old as my parents!


White rhinos are not very white, but the name might come from the Afrikaans word 'wijd' which means 'wide'.  This is because their jaw is much wider than the black rhino.


White rhinos are 'near threatened' but because of the game reserves their numbers are actually increasing now in South Africa.


Because they are so big they don't have any predators - just humans.


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Usually the females are more aggressive when they have a baby to look after.


I got my information from:



  • the iMflozi Park Centenary Information Centre; and

  • from my book 'Wildlife of the World' by Dorling Kindersley.

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