The Black Rhino is a species of rhino that is famous for its hooked lips. It is smaller than the white rhino in size and has a lifespan of 40-50 years. Black rhinos weigh up to about 3,000 pounds. They are herbivores who mostly feed in the night, at dusk, and at dawn to avoid the heat of the day.
Black rhinos feed on trees and bushes with their favorite source of food being the acacias. In most cases, males are solitary whereas the females and the young ones live in groups. The gestation period of the Black rhinos is about 13-16 months. The common habitat of these rhinos is Sub-Saharan Africa.
Places in the World Where Rhinos Live
The Black Rhinos inhabit grasslands, moorlands, scrublands, dry forests, and mountain forests. They are native to eastern and southern Africa. Majority of the rhinos live in four countries namely Kenya, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa. Among these states, the highest numbers of black rhinos are found in South Africa and Namibia.
Nonetheless, the existence of these animals is not restricted to these countries only. Black Rhinos can also be found in other parts of east and southern Africa namely Zambia, Kenya, Namibia, Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Chad, and Swaziland. The species of black rhinos that live in Namibia are adapted to desert conditions.
Challenges Faced by the Black Rhinos
The IUCN Red List categorizes the Black rhinos under the critically endangered animals. In the 1900s, there were close to one million black rhinos in Africa. However, the high rate of poaching from 1991-1994 resulted in the numbers reducing to only 2400 in 1995. Currently, it is believed that the black rhinos are about 4,800 which is a result of intense conservation efforts.
Thus, poaching and hunting by humans have been the greatest challenges faced by rhinos. In most cases, poachers target the horns of the rhinos which they sell to nations such as China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. These countries use the horns for medicinal purposes. In North Africa and the Middle East, the rhino horns are used for making ornamental daggers.