Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo

Open Daily, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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Open Daily, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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Eastern Black Rhinoceros

Scientific Name

Diceros bicornis michaeli

Feeding Type


Range & Habitat

There are now three remaining recognized subspecies of black rhinoceros occupying different areas of Africa. These subspecies are found in the eastern and southern African countries.

Diet in the Wild

Black Rhinos feed on foliage and fruit from trees and bushes.

Diet at the Zoo

Alfalfa Hay, herbivore cubes, browse (tree branches and leaves), fruit such as watermelon, pumpkin, etc is given to the rhinos as enrichment


The eastern black rhino is critically endangered with less than 1,000 individuals remaining combining wild and captive populations. Between 1970 and 1992, the wild population of this species has decreased by 96 percent. Rhinos are poached for their horns which are falsely perceived to have medicinal value in some cultures and for ornamental carvings.

The black rhinoceros has two horns, with the front one being the larger of the two. They can weigh up to 3,000 pounds and be 5.5 feet tall at shoulder height and up to 12.5 feet long if you include the head and body. The black rhino has a prehensile lip that is well-suited for grasping branches, leaves and shrubs. This is the species’ most distinguishing characteristic. The black rhino lives in Africa, primarily in grasslands, savannahs and tropical bush lands. Female rhinos reach maturity at four to seven years of age while males reach maturity at seven to ten years. The term ‘black rhino’ is believed to come about because of the color of the soil the rhino covers itself with while wallowing in the mud. Unlike the white rhino, black rhinos are only semi-social and do not live in herds although females sometimes live in the same area. Females reproduce only every two and a half to five years.

At the Zoo

A rhino calf was born at Blank Park Zoo on October 11, 2016


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