Animal Facts
    Common Name:
    Southern White Rhinoceros
    Scientific Name:
    Ceratotherium simum
    • They are more social than other rhinos.
    • All local rhinos poop in the same spot (a "midden"), and by sniffing the pile, rhinos learn details about the other area rhinos.
    • Wallowing in mud holes covers them in mud that acts as a sunscreen and insect repellent.
    • Poor eyesight, but good senses of smell and hearing.
    5.5 ft
    5,000 lb
    13 ft
    Life Span:
    45 yrs
    Gestation Period:
    480 days
    Number of Young:
    • Grassland
    • Savanna
    • Shrubland
    Fun Facts:
    • Second largest terrestrial animal, behind only elephants.
    • Name "white" comes from a mistranslation of the Afrikaans word "weit", meaning wide, referring to the wide upper lip of this rhino.
    • Horn is made of compressed, fibrous hair made of keratin - the same protein human hair and fingernails are made of.
    • Can reach speeds of 30 mph for short bursts.
    • Poaching / Over Consumption
    Endangered Status
    Endangered Status
    • Extinct in Wild (EW)
    • Critically Endangered (CR)
    • Endangered (EN)
    • Vulnerable (VU)
    • Near Threatened (NT)
    • Least Concern (LC)
    • Not Evaluated (NE)

    Rhinoceros are facing extinction across the world due to poaching and habitat loss. The North Carolina Zoo is helping rhino conservation efforts in Namibia by equipping conservation staff on the ground with technology to more easily collect information on threats to rhinos, which in turn enable protected area managers to make better informed decisions about how best to protect wildlife. In addition, zookeeper-led events like Bowling for Rhinos raise funds for rhino conservation efforts all over the world. You can read more about the Zoo’s work on wild rhinos below, under related resources.

    The rhinos participate in their own preventative health care through training.  The keepers and veterinarians can draw blood, perform ultrasounds, and check their teeth safely because of this training.  Living on a 40-acre mixed species habitat provides ample space to roam and other species to interact with.

    Saving Species Plan Logo

    This species is cooperatively managed as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan program program. This program is responsible for developing a Breeding and Transfer Plan for each species in the program.