Wildlife TV

Learn interesting and funny plant and animal facts with videos and photos

How do baby Rhinoceros survive?

on May 23, 2013

I hope you’ve been following the “Baby Animals: How do they survive?” series so far.

If not, make sure you check the previous entries on baby cheetahs, zebras, hippopotamus, wildebeest, elephant and spotted hyenas.

There’s much more to learn about baby animals and their survival techniques!


Rhinoceros calves

In Southern Africa there are 2 species of rhinoceros, the White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum) and the Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis).

As you might know, they are amazing creatures and considered one of the big 5, therefore one of the most sought after animals in a safari game drive. Despite the fact that both these rhino species share many similarities, they are in fact quite different from each other in many aspects.
Below you can the see a photo of a black rhino calf on the left and a photo of a white rhino calf on the right.

Cute baby Black rhino (Diceros bicornis)

Black rhino calf

Cute baby White rhino (Ceratotherium simum)

White rhino calf












Despite the obvious resemblance, their survival techniques are quite different.
Black rhinos prefer to live in dense vegetation areas whereas white rhinos prefer open fields in which they can scan for danger easily. Because rhinos in general are not gregarious animals, the newborn will spend most of its young life in the presence of the mother who will fiercely defend it against anything she might interpret as a potential danger.
Although adults have very poor eyesight, young calves can see better at a distance and often get curious with their surroundings. The mothers on the other hand get easily nervous since they can’t spot predators as well as predators can spot them. For that exact reason, rhinos’ defence strategy is often to either run away or towards the attacker.
The striking difference between black and white rhinos is the position the calf takes in regards to the mother.
Because black rhinos live in dense areas, when danger presents itself, the mother runs in the front while the calf follows her protected by her horn and aggressiveness. This way the mother is capable of opening a way for herself and the calf through the dense bush while charging with a deadly weapon mounted on her face against anything that shows up.
The opposite happens with white rhinos; because they live in open areas, chances are that the attackers (mostly lions) will try to chase and attack the calf from behind. Therefore, white rhino calves always run in the front when escaping danger while the mother stays at the rear protecting it from the attackers.

Black rhino (Diceros bicornis) mother and calf

Black rhino mother and calf
Photo credits

White rhino (Ceratotherium simum) mother and baby walking

White rhino mother and calf
Photo credits









To conclude, baby rhinos survive in the wild all due to their mother’s fierceness, either by protecting the calf from the back (in the case of white rhinos) or by destroying any obstacle in front of them (in the case of the black rhinos).

In each case, either obstacles or predators will be met with huge, pointy and sharp rhino horns ready to tear anything apart!


I hope you liked learning about the amazing world of baby rhinoceros.
Do you want to find out how baby warthogs and other animals survive?
Check out our “Series” page for the list of “Baby Animals: How do they survive?


Até à próxima!

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