White rhinos are named after a corruption of their Afrikaans name 'weit' (meaning wide), describing their jaw rather than their colour. They have two horns on their head, the front one being the larger. Their wide, flat mouths are adapted for grazing: they don't have incisor teeth, but use their lips instead to tear off mouthfuls of grass.
Scientific name: Ceratotherium simum
Chris Packham encounters a group of white rhinos in Kenya.
Chris Packham encounters a group of white rhinos in Kenya. These giant herbivores could run a man through, as soon as look at him, should they feel like it. The good news is that their eyesight is appalling – which means that as long as Chris moves very slowly he can get quite close to them. But they do have a very keen sense of smell - so there could be trouble if the wind changes. Rhinos like these provide a vital service to the savannah - by simply eating it and pooing on it.
Stephen Fry hand feeds a hungry baby rhinoceros on a sanctuary in Kenya.
Whilst at a heavily guarded reserve for rhinos in Kenya, Stephen Fry hand feeds a very hungry baby rhinoceros and is amazed to discover it needs feeding six pints of milk, five times a day.
Mark and Stephen have an uncomfortably close white rhino encounter.
Whilst on the trail of some of the planet's most endangered species, Stephen Fry has a frighteningly close encounter with a white rhino. It's a fantastic chance to see such a rare creature, but perhaps not at quite this proximity! Stephen is visibly nervous as the large and potentially dangerous animal approaches. But why doesn't everyone else seem as concerned?
Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
The White rhinoceros can be found in a number of locations including: Africa. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.
The following habitats are found across the White rhinoceros distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Population trend: Increasing
Year assessed: 2008
Classified by: IUCN 3.1
The white rhinoceros or square-lipped rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is the largest and most numerous species of rhinoceros that exists. It has a wide mouth used for grazing and is the most social of all rhino species. The white rhinoceros consists of two subspecies: the southern white rhinoceros, with an estimated 17,460 wild-living animals at the end of 2007 (IUCN 2008), and the much rarer northern white rhinoceros. The northern subspecies has very few remaining, with seven confirmed individuals left (including those in captivity).
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