Saturday, September 13, 2014

Southern White Rhinoceros

The white rhinoceros has two subspecies, the northern white rhino and the southern white rhino. The northern white rhino lived in central sub-Saharan Africa, including Uganda, Chad, Sudan, Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of the Congo. It now appears to be extinct in the wild and only about four are alive in captivity. The southern white rhino was originally in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Swaziland. Populations have subsequently been introduced to Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. There is a healthy population in Lake Nakuru National Park which is surrounded by a fence, to keep poachers out, which is where we saw them. 
An eland rests behind a group of four rhinos in Lake Nakuru NP. Photo by Steven Shuel.
Five square-lips virtually suck the grass off the ground, like a hoover crew cleaning up a theater after a showing. Photo by Stephen Shuel.
It is the largest land mammal after the elephant. Adult males weigh from 4,400 to 5,100 pounds and females weigh about 3,500 pounds. The shoulder height in an adult male is up to about six feet in males. It has two horns on the snout, one behind the other. The front horn is larger. It also has a hump on the back of its neck. They have a broad, straight mouth which it uses for grazing, and why it is sometimes called the square-lipped rhino. 
Surrounded by cattle egrets.
This big guy has an impressive front horn.
A good view of the square lips.
The few we saw were surrounded by birds eating the bugs flushed up by their large mass and each one usually had a number of ox-pecker birds on them, gorging themselves on ticks. 
Their main sense is an incredible ability to smell. 
An ox-pecker below its eye and two on its back. 


  1. That is cool that there were so many.

  2. I would never have guessed these animals have a keen sense of smell. I like the image of theater-cleaning, but I'm guessing they don't appreciate popcorn like some of us.

  3. Definitely a prehistoric-feeling animal. It lumbers around like a figure carved from stone. I loved the contrast of the dainty white birds scavenging at its feet and on its back.