Fun Western Black Rhinoceros Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
Jan 12, 2023 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed
Here are amazing Western black rhinoceros facts for you to browse through.

The Western black rhino, scientific name (Diceros Bicornis), is also known as Western African Black rhinoceros. They were declared extinct by the IUCN in 2011.

Their number declined due to poaching. The Western black rhino was found in Cameroon and South Africa, but was declared extinct in 2011.

They had walked the earth for 7-8 million years. It is a subspecies of the Black rhino, and there are a total of three subspecies of a black African rhino.

The other two rhino subspecies are southern black rhinoceros and north-eastern black rhinoceros.

They were first discovered in the countries of Southwest Chad, Central African Republic, North Cameron, and Northeast Nigeria. The reason for Western black rhinoceros extinction is that many poachers in Vietnam believed western black rhino horns had medicinal properties and engaged in its trade across Asia especially in the Chinese medicine industry.

However, there is no scientific evidence for this. The last surviving Western black rhinoceros in captivity died in 2011, and then IUCN changed the status of this rhino species from critically endangered to extinct, despite various conservation efforts.

Rhinos are believed to be nearsighted and rely on local birds like red-billed oxpeckers to help them detect any incoming threat. During the 1900s, the western black rhino had the highest population at almost 850,000 individuals.

But between 1970-1992, the rhino numbers declined by 96 percent. Rhinos are active during the day and night, being least active during the hottest part of the day. They have an excellent sense of smell and hearing.

Rhinos have a relatively high rotational range to detect sound. After reading about this black rhino subspecies, you may also look at Borneo elephant facts and black rhinoceros facts to learn more about the amazing animals in our world.

Western Black Rhinoceros Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Western black rhinoceros?

The western black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis longipes) is a type of rhinoceros found on the continent of Africa. Their scientific name is Diceros bicornis, where Diceros means two-horned in Greek. Bicornis also means two-horned but in Latin. The other two species of rhinos that have two horns are white and Sumatran.

What class of animal does a Western black rhinoceros belong to?

The western black rhino belongs to the mammal class of animals as it gives birth to one offspring like other mammals. They relied on local birds to know about any approaching threat.

How many Western black rhinoceros are there in the world?

The subspecies of Western black rhinoceros (Diceros Bicornis) was declared extinct by 2011, as no western black rhinos have been spotted since 2006. The other two subspecies of black rhinos are also critically endangered, and concrete conservation efforts have been made to save the species from extinction.

Where does a Western black rhinoceros live?

The western black rhino lived in the savanna of sub-Saharan Africa. The western black rhino was found in the Southeast region of the continent of Africa. The last recorded western black rhino was found in Cameroon and the species has been declared extinct in 2011. The black rhino was found mostly in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

What is a Western black rhinoceros's habitat?

The western black rhinoceros niche habitat was the savanna of sub-Saharan Africa. The western black rhino was found in the countries of Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Cameron, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Chad, Rwanda, Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia, and Malawi.

Who do Western black rhinoceros live with?

The western black rhino lived a solitary life, only interacting with the other members for sex during the mating season. The male western black rhino was known to be territorial and is known to dominate over younger rhino. They can be aggressive if their territory is disturbed.

How long does a Western black rhinoceros live?

The western black rhino lived for 45-50 years. They have been on the plant for almost 7-8 million years. Unfortunately, they are extinct now.

How do they reproduce?

The male rhino would approach a female once he senses it to be oestrus. When the female accepts the males after some days, they begin the process. Copulation will last for about 30 minutes, but the pair may stay together for almost 30 days. The gestation period for females was 1-17 months.

When she is ready to give birth, she will find a solitary, sheltered spot. The calves stay with their mothers for 2-4 years. They are rejected once the female is ready to give birth again.

What is their conservation status?

The western black rhinoceros (Diceros Bicornis) is an extinct subspecies since 2011. The eastern black rhinoceros is the most endangered, with a remaining population of 740 by IUCN estimates. The western black rhinoceros extinct status is largely due to poaching and hunting by poachers in Vietnam for its horn and subsequent trade across Asia.

Western Black Rhinoceros Fun Facts

What do Western black rhinoceros look like?

The western black rhinoceros (Diceros Bicornis) is also known as the hook-lipped rhinoceros.  The black rhino is not entirely black but light-colored like white or grey skin. The upper lip of the black rhino is triangular, which helps them eat. They have a smaller hump in comparison to the white rhino.

The skin of the Western black rhinoceros is dark.

How cute are they?

They were large mammals with leathery skin and had the most distinct facial feature of the horn. They were cute, but they are one of the largest mammals on the earth.

The western black rhino is extinct now, so we may not know how they are in their natural habitat. However, we can check the remaining two species, but their numbers are dwindling too.

How do they communicate?

The western black rhinoceros (Diceros Bicornis) were known to sniff and snort when they were disturbed. Sometimes they were known to grunt when they were in a group. Apart from this, they were not known to make any other noise as they were lonely creatures.

How big is a Western black rhinoceros?

The western black rhinoceros is 9.8-12.3 ft in length and 4.6-5.9 ft in height. The black rhinos are comparatively smaller than the white rhino in size. They also have a less pronounced hump than the white rhinos.

How fast can a Western black rhinoceros run?

The western black rhino was one of the fastest mammals of this size. They could run up to a speed of 35 mph. They could change direction quickly and run through shrubs and bushes.

How much does a Western black rhinoceros weigh?

The western black rhinoceros weighed around 1760-3090 lb. The females weighed up to 1980 lb. At birth, they may have weighed around 77-99 lb. However, they were said to be smaller than white rhinos.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male western black rhinos are called bulls, and females are called cows, like all rhinos.

What would you call a baby Western black rhinoceros?

The baby western black rhinos were called calfs.

What do they eat?

They were known to be browsers. They ate leafy plants and shoot. They browsed for food during the morning and the evening and wallow or sleep during the hottest time of the day.

Are they aggressive?

They were solitary animals who were territorial. The adult male is known to be dominant towards younger males and submissive males. Young bulls and older males who cannot defend themselves were often injured or killed in these territorial fights.

Would they make a good pet?

It would not have been recommended to have them as a pet. However, they did thrive in captivity in zoos. The constant poaching became a major reason for the loss of these large animals.

Did you know...

Scent marking was one of the most crucial methods of communication for them. Urine spraying was a common method by which they marked their territory. Dung piles are also used, which is known as middens. These rhinos were known to defect in one place only and mark their territory by that.

Why did the Western Black Rhinoceros go extinct?

The poaching of the western black rhinoceros was majorly done for their horns. It was also done by farmers who killed them to protect their farmland in the same area.

In the 1950s, to fight the western pharma industry, Chinese medicine practitioners were encouraged to hunt several species, one of which was the western black rhino for the precious rhino horn which was believed to have medicinal properties to cure specific diseases and effective to detect poisons.

During those days, the price for one kg of the horn could be as high as $50,000.

The horn was also used for making ceremonial knife handles known as Janbiya. The hilt is known as saifani, made with the rhino horn, which is considered a symbol of wealth and power.

How has the extinction of the western black rhinoceros impacted the environment?

The western black rhinoceros ecological significance can be highlighted from the fact that they graze huge amounts of vegetation, which shapes the African landscape. The extinction of this species has had an impact on the environment, and they could have been an important tourist attraction, too.

The western black rhinoceros extinction impacts the overall environment of the region as well. When we protect a species that roams such a large area, it also helps the conservation of other species and the complete habitat.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including Tasmanian tiger, or mountain zebra.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Western Black Rhinoceros coloring pages.

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

Oluniyi Akande picture

Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed

Bachelor of Law

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Abdulqudus MojeedBachelor of Law

A versatile professional with a passion for creative writing and technology. Abdulqudus is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Law from the University of Lagos and has experience as a tutor, intern assistant, and volunteer. He possesses strong organizational skills and is a detail-oriented person.

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