Eastern black rhino

Despite their name, black rhinos aren’t actually black - they’re grey.

Black rhinos have bad eyesight but they have excellent hearing.

They can swivel their cone shaped ears to pick up on the tiniest of sounds. They also have a strong sense of smell and this is what they use most to make sense of what’s around them.

They usually live between 35 and 50 years, and most black rhinos live in East Africa, in Tanzania.

We have three black rhino at Folly Farm. They live in our Kifaru Reserve enclosure. They love rolling in the mud and charging around.

Conservation

The Eastern black rhino is seriously at risk of becoming extinct. You can find out more about how we’re helping black rhino conservation.

The biggest danger to rhinos is poaching, or being killed for their horn.

Rhino questions and answers

What do rhinos eat?  
Rhinos are herbivores (plant eaters). They eat leafy plants, branches, shoots, bushes and fruit.

How fast can rhinos charge?
Rhinos can reach speeds of up to 55kph. Black rhino can be very aggressive and will charge at anything that scares them.

How much do rhinos weigh?
An adult black rhino weighs between 800 and 1400 kilograms.

What is a group of rhinos called?
A group of rhinos is called a ‘crash’.

Do all rhinos have two horns?
Not all rhinos have two horns. The black, white and Sumatran rhino has two horns. The Javan and Indian have just one horn.

How long is a rhino’s horn?
The front horn is the largest at about 50cm long, but some have reached up to 140cm.

Are all rhinos grey?
Black rhinos, white rhinos, it doesn’t matter. They’re all grey. It’s possible the word ‘white’ in white rhino was wrongly translated from the Dutch word for wide (‘wijd’), describing its mouth.

What noise do rhinos make?
Rhinos make grunting and sniffing noises. Baby rhinos make squealing and screeching sounds.

How many types of rhino are there?
There are five types of rhino. They are listed below in order of size, starting with the biggest:

  • Indian rhino (also known as the greater one-horned rhino)
  • White rhino
  • Black rhino
  • Javan rhino
  • Sumatran rhino

Three of these are critically endangered – the black rhino, the Sumatran and the Javan.

Where do rhinos live?
Black rhinos live in grassland, scrubland and bushes.

How long is a rhino pregnant for?
The gestation period, or pregnancy, of a rhino is 15 to 16 months.

How many babies does a rhino have?  
A rhino has one baby, or calf.

What is a midden?
A midden is a pile of rhino poo. Rhinos choose a spot and always poo there, much like a toilet. It makes our rhino keepers’ job much easier.

Zoo Membership

We're proud to be members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Our membership means we share knowledge with leading zoos across the UK and Europe, and we learn from them too.