Sunday, June 5, World Environment Day 2016

djune959The white rhino is a major conservation success story, having been brought back from the very brink of extinction.

Let’s continue to protect in Namibia.

White rhinos are the second largest land mammal after the elephant. Adult males can reach 1.85m in height and tip the scales at a massive 3.6 tonnes. Females are considerably smaller but can still weigh in at an impressive 1.7 tonnes.

White rhinos are also known as the square-lipped rhinoceros due to their square (not pointed) upper lip.

They have complex social structures. Groups of sometimes 14 rhinos may form, notably females with calves. Adult males defend territories of roughly 1-3km2, which they mark with vigorously scraped dung piles. The home range for adult females can be more than seven times larger, depending on habitat quality and population density.

Breeding females are prevented from leaving a dominant male’s territory, which is marked and patrolled by its owner on a regular basis. Males competing for a female may engage in serious conflict, using their horns and massive size to inflict wounds.

Females reach sexual maturity at 4-5 years of age but do not reproduce until they reach 6 -7 years. Males tend not to mate until they are 10-12 years old. They can live up to 40 years. Mating occurs throughout the year.  The gestation period is approximately 16 months with a period of 2-3 years between calves.

White rhinos are the only grazer among the five rhino species, feeding almost exclusively on short grasses. The animals tend to avoid the heat during the day, when they rest in the shade. They are usually active in the early morning, late afternoon and evening. During very hot periods, they cool and rid themselves of external parasites by bathing in mud in shallow pools.

www.wheretostay.na

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