I have seen black rhino, Diceros bicornis, once before, in Namibia, but their horns had been clipped off to protect them from poaching. In Kenya, though, I saw them in their untampered and intimidating state. I saw them in Lewa Downs in Laikipia, and also in Nairobi National Park, both of which have excellent anti-poaching programs, and healthy populations of these enormous animals.
Here is a fully grown male, with a vehicle in the background, for scale:
They can reach 4000 pounds ( 1400Kg). The females are a little smaller, but still substantial:
Even the calf is big enough to think twice about:
They have two horns, the front one is the longer of the two:
Unless your name is Sonya, in which case the back one is the longer one:
The presence of a youngster shows that this unusual arrangement has not stopped some male finding her appealing! It remains to be seen which parent will determine how her baby’s horns develop.
Although they sometimes eat grass, their mouths are designed for browsing, with a pointed hooked upper lip which allows them to delicately strip leaves off bushes:
White rhino, Ceratotherium simum, by contrast, are grazers, and have wide square mouths designed for hoovering up large amounts of grass.
The white rhino are even larger than the blacks, with males weighing up to 55oolbs.
Returning to the Black Rhino, they have poor eyesight, but excellent hearing. Their tube-shaped ears can rotate in all directions:
They remind me of miniature ear-trumpets, and are every bit as effective.