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Eastern Black Rhino

Scientific Name: Diceros bicornis michaeli

The Eastern black rhino is a subspecies of the black rhinoceros and is classed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.

Distinguished by their two horns, the Eastern black rhino can reach up to 1.5m tall when fully grown. Eastern black rhinos browse for their food on trees, bushes and shrubs, helped by their great sense of smell rather than their eyesight, which is poor.

The story of the black rhino species is both a unique and sad one, as the Western black rhino was declared extinct in 2011. Initially the black rhino was the most common of all rhinos, however, due to illegal hunting and the demand for rhino horn increasing, the species suffered a 98% reduction in the 20th century.

Now, thanks to efforts from other conservation organisations around the world, the Eastern black rhino population is increasing with numbers rising from less than 2500 to approximately 5,458 today, however there is still a lot of work to do.

Key Facts:

  •  Conservation status: Critically Endangered
  •  Distribution: South and East Africa
  •  Habitat: Wooded grassland, savannahs and deserts
  •  Diet: Trees, bushes and shrubs
  • Weight: 900kg – 1,350kg
  • No. of young: 1
  • Life span: 40 – 50 years


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