Noordelijke witte neushoorn
Northern white rhino
Ubhejane omhlophe waseNyakatho

Northern white Rhino

  • The white rhino is divided into two types.
    • - Southern white rhino: Ceratotherium simum simum, still between 17,200 - 18,900 rhinos.
    • - Northern white rhino: Ceratotherium simum cottoni, 2 rhinos left.

    Practical information northern white rhino.

    • Shape: The northern white rhinos are generally smaller than the southern white rhinos. In both species the female is slightly smaller than the male. There is no quantitative information on the length differences between the southern white rhino and the northern white rhino. The northern white rhino has more hair over its body than the southern white rhino.
    • Weight: 1700 – 2400 kg. The female is on average slightly smaller than the male.
    • Birth weight: A rhino calf weighs 40 - 60 kg at birth. With calves you only see a small horn emerge 6 weeks before birth. This happens when the black membranes that cover the horn fall off. The rhino calves drink continuously with their mother for up to 6 months, always drinking 2 to 3 minutes. When the calves are 2 months old, they start grazing.
    • Hair & skin: The rhino belongs to the group of thick skins. With thick, firm skin, the rhino prevents it from being injured by spiny bushes and branches. The skin color of both the white and black rhino is gray. The appearance of the rhino is formed by the folds in the skin, this gives the rhino the appearance of an armor. The skin of the northern white rhino has more hair than that of the southern white rhino. All types of rhinos have tassels of hair on their eyelids, ears and end of their tails. The rhino's tail is about 80 cm - 100 cm long. The skin behind the ears and in the armpits is soft, while the rest of the rhino feels like an armor. The epidermis of the white rhino is 1 mm thick, the dermis is 18 mm thick, on average. The white rhino has 24 teeth.
    • Distinctive features: The northern white rhino has a straighter back than the southern white rhino which has more prominent shoulder blades and a more hollow back. The rib cage is also less prominent in the northern white rhino. The ears and tail of the northern white rhino are hairier than those of the southern. The horns of the southern white rhino have a pointed shape, those of the northern white rhino are more obtuse and often have a somewhat illogical shape, which they can also bend over if they are very long.

    Behavior & reproduction.

    • Social: The white rhino is semi-social, territorial and sedentary. Adult bulls generally live solitary, and can only be found with females during reproduction. Stable herds (often called "crashes") of around six animals can be observed. Because of the poaching, it has now become a rare sight to see a herd of rhinos.
    • Sexual maturity: The bull (the males) reach sexual maturity between 10 and 12 years old, the females between 6 and 7 years old.
    • Fragrance marking: The sharp sense of smell of the rhino is not only used to protect itself. Special scents are used for communication between different rhinos. All rhino species have collective manure heaps that are used by both sexes. The manure heaps serve as communication and marking points, and are located on territory borders. Research has shown that rhinos can recognize each other by the smell of the manure.
    • Male territory: The territory of a bull is relatively small, between 1 and 3 km2. The quality and availability of food and water in a certain area, determined how large the territory is. The black, white and Javanese rhino mark out their territory with urine. Each area is managed by an adult male, often with between 1 and 3 resident bulls who are not yet sexually mature. As long as these bulls behave submissively, they are tolerated by the territorial bull. If a young male tries to seize power, a force measurement will follow. The territorial bull is much more aggressive to foreign bulls than the bulls that live in its territory.
    • Female territory: The living area of ​​the female varies between 6 - 20 km2 and overlaps the territory of different males. The white rhino female is rarely alone, she is usually seen with her newest calf. The young remains with the mother for 3 years, only when the mother gets another calf does he look for another companion. Preferably of the same age and gender.
    • Reproduction: Through the smell from urine, a cow conceals when it is fertile. The territorial bull will then join the female for about 20 days. In the beginning he stays at a reasonable distance from the female, until she comes in full oestrus and allows him to come closer. The mating is remarkably long and takes 20 minutes to an hour.
    • Gestation and birth: White rhinos wear for around 16 months. The average age at which females give birth is 7 years. The next calf often follows between 3 - 4 years later. Just before delivery, pregnant females will leave their social group and stay apart for a few days. Calves can stand within an hour and try to suckle immediately. The bond between mother and calf is very strong and they become inseparable. The calf is usually in front of the mother and immediately responds to the behavior of the mother. After 2 months the calf starts grazing. Weaning takes place at about a year old, the calf stays with the mother for an average of 3 years. If the two get separated, their sense of smell will bring them back together. Most calves survive because the mother is a ruthless obstacle for predators.
    • Sounds and calls: White rhinos have a wide range of vocal sounds. They communicate through these sounds. The sounds range from squeaking (just like the calf) to growling or wailing.
    • Activities: White rhinos alternate feeding and resting during the day and night. In warm weather, the hottest part of the day is used as a moment of rest. Many of the moments of rest are used to roll in the mud until they are completely covered with it. The mud serves as a sunscreen and to stay cool. The moist mud softens the skin of the rhino and prevents cracks. This mud layer stifles parasites and prevents insects from stinging. If no mud is available, sand is used for rolling. Rhinos need water to drink every 2-4 days. Ox sticks are regularly found on the rhino's back, they help the rhino in the fight against biting insects. Daily sanding also includes scouring the skin, with the aim of removing dander, scabs and insects.

    Interesting facts.

    • Behaviour: Rhinos often roll in the mud, which serves as a cooling technique, sunscreen & insect repellent. After rolling, the color of the rhino comes over with the mud that has been rolled in.
    • Speed: The rhino can reach the speed of 50 km / h in the event of danger.
    • Age: The white rhino is on average 50 years old. Sudan (the last northern white rhino male) turned 45 years old.
    • Voedsel: The white rhino mainly eats grass species.
    • De hoorn: The horns serve as a weapon against predators and for dominance & threats in contact with other rhinos. The horn is made of keratin, the horns constantly grow and grow back when they are broken down. The white rhinos have 2 horns, the larger front horn and the smaller thicker rear horn. The horn of the northern white rhino is considerably smaller than that of the southern white rhino. The horn of the northern white rhino is on average 40 cm long, while that of the southern white rhino is on average 60 cm long.


    • Extinction: The northern white rhino is seriously threatened with extinction, in the wild the species was declared extinct in 2008 and there are only 2 living specimens left in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. Currently there are 2 embryos of the northern white rhino that will be implanted in a gestational mother, a southern white rhino. This is because the two northern white rhinos can no longer bear a calf. On August 22, 2019, a total of 10 eggs were collected from the two remaining white rhino females Najin (30 years old) and Fatu (19 years old). Five eggs were taken from both rhinos. Of these, 7 were found suitable for fertilization. The fertilization takes place through the remaining semen of males Suni and Saut. Sudan is not suitable for this because it is the father of Najin and the grandfather of Fatu.
    • Discovery of the species: in 1907 the northern white rhino was discovered as a sub species.
    • Course: in 1960 there were more northern white rhinos than southern white rhinos, with around 2,000 wildlife. From 1960 to 1970, the number of northern white rhinos fell to 700 individuals. In 1981 there were fewer than 350 animals in the wild. Since then, thanks to poaching, the number has dropped to two more live animals. A northern white rhino was seen in the wild for the last time in 2006.
    • Najin en Fatu: Najin was born in 1989 in captivity. This makes her 30 years old now. Fatu is Najin's daughter and born in 2000, which makes her now 19 years old. Both are owned by Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic where they were also born. In 2009 both females were transported to the Ol Pejeta reserve in Kenya. Here they tried to bring the last captive rhinos together with the last wild northern white rhinos. To ensure that reproduction would occur again through the more natural environment. However, the wild northern white rhinos never arrived, probably due to corruption in surrounding countries.
    • Sudan en Suni: Sudan born in the wild in 1973 in southern Sudan. Sudan was taken prisoner in 1975 and moved to the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic. To ensure reproduction there and to protect the species from extinction. Sudan died on March 19, 2018, he was 45 years old. Several documentaries have been made of Sudan. The Dutch / Belgian documentary "the last male on earth" in which the last years of Sudan are followed. The documentary premiered on September 17, 2019. Suni was born at Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic in 1980, and together with Sudan went to the Ol Pejeta reserve in Kenya in 2009, Suni died a natural death in 2014.
    • Location: The northern white rhino was previously found in north / west Uganda, Chad, South / west Sudan and parts of Congo. Now the last 2 northern white rhino females live in Kenya.