The Black Rhinoceros: Bigger than a Truck?
The Endangered Black Rhino: Breaking the Scales at 4,000 Pounds!
The Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) may not look black, and that's because it isn't. It's gray, and hard to differentiate between them and other species of rhinos. Adults weigh a ton...literally. Breaking the scales at a whopping 1760 pounds minimum and typically ranging up to near 4000 pounds, this animal weighs more than some small trucks!
This animal is also highly endangered. Poachers have run this species into extremely low numbers, causing the species to be put on the endangered species list. Why? Poachers want the horn, which to them represents a paycheck, and to the buyer, a status symbol. Learn how you can help the endangered Black Rhinoceros and read up on this beautiful creature right on this page.
What does the Black Rhinoceros Look Like?
Cool facts about the Black Rhino
Rhinos are well known and instanlty recognizable from their large, armor-like body and 2 large horns. There are four subspecies of Black Rhinos. The Western Black Rhino is believed to recently become extinct. Black Rhinos originate from eastern and central Africa including the countries of Tanzania, Cameroon, South Africa, Namibia, Kenya and Zimbabwe. They are about 10-12 feet long and 5 feet tall on average. Females are smaller than males. Their horns are made of a tough, fiborous protein, keratin, typically found in nails, hair, hooves and claws of animals. Two horns are usually present, however a third smaller horn develops. The largest horn can be 20 inches long.
A pointed mouth helps them with their herbivorous lifestyle, gnawing on leaves and twigs and clearing out dense woods, maintaining a grassy environment on the Africa plains. The ultra-thick outside layer of skin protects against thick, sharp grass and brush, and allows it to venture into areas other animals may not have the advantage of a tough skin. They also rely on their sense of smell and hearing much more than their poor eyesight.
How concerned are you about black rhinos becoming extinct?
Seeing these creatures in action will give you a better idea of how big they really are.
They Weight a Ton...or Two
Black Rhinos can weigh near 4000 pounds, that's as much as a small truck!
The Rhino Horn Demand
Poachers selling horn as status symbol
The Black Rhino has long been poached for its horn, tail and other body parts, being commonly used for disproven medicinal benefits. Later, poaching dramatically increased in the 1970s. Why? Oil! The world's dependence on foreign oil allowed poverty-sticken Middle Eastern nations like Yemen to grow exponentially, and became much wealthier per capita. Rhino horn is a coveted prize used for knife handles in Middle Eastern countries. These horns were (and still are) sold for tens of thousand of dollars.
The growing demand for the horns decreased the Black Rhino population to an all-time low count of 2410 in 2004, down from an estimated several hundred thousand in 1900. Between 1970 and 1992, the Black Rhino population decreased 96%. Anti-poaching efforts and laws have been put in place to try to protect all rhinoceros, but it is a task difficult to maintain.
Here's Where you can Help!
Below you will find organizations that help to conserve this dwindling species. Help out the Black Rhinoceros so future generations can enjoy this amazing animal!
Black Rhino Links
Here are two long established organizations, very worth to donate to. Help the black rhino recover!
- The International Rhino Foundation
The International Rhino Foundation is dedicated to the survival of the world's rhino species through conservation and research. Adopt a Rhino!
- David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Daphne Sheldrick is recognized internationally as probably the world authority on both the African Elephant and the Black Rhinoceros, with a broad knowledge of Natural History and the interlocking role of different species within the environment.
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