At birth, baby rhinos, which are called calves, are still quite big, at40 to 64 kg. And only 10 minutes after it appears it can already stand upright, a couple of hours later it begins to suck. The rhino calf is born without a horn. Its only protection comes from its mother, who seems to delight in caring for her new addition. At around 3 years old, the calf will set out on its own.
These brilliant beasts are known for their awesome, giant horns that grow from their snouts – hence the name “rhinoceros’, meaning “nose horn”.
The white rhino is the largest rhino species and can weigh over 3500 kg (7700 lb) and is the largest land mammal after the elephant. Elephants can grow to be 7,000 kg (15,000 lb)
Rhino skin maybe thick but it can be quite sensitive to sunburns and insect bites which is why they like wallow so much – when the mud dries it acts as protection from the sunburns and insects.
Despite their huge size and strength, these bulky beasts don’t prey on other animals for food. They’re herbivores, and instead like to munch on lots of grass and plants at night, dawn and dusk.
Once they leave, they will go and find a territory of their own. This is not always easy, since rhinos do not share their territory with others. Therefore, the young rhino needs to be able to look after itself as it searches for territory, and to defend itself against other rhinos that want to compete for space.
The rhino’s horn is not bone and is not attached to its skull; it is also not hollow like elephant tusks. It is actually a compacted mass of hairs that continues to grow throughout the animal’s lifetime, just like our own hair and nails.
When a greater one-horned rhino is threatened it slashes and gouges with its long, sharp incisors and canine teeth of its lower jaw.
A group of rhinoceros is called a ‘herd’ or a ‘crash’.
Timbavati Game Reserve, Hoedspruit, 1380, South Africa