How do northern white rhinos communicate?
White rhinos are very vocal animals. The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals describes ‘a wide repertoire of utterances’ including contact calls such as ‘loud chirps, gasps and puffings’ as well as ‘snarls and squeaks of distress’. Males also grunt and bellow at their rivals.
What do white rhinos eat?
Northern white rhinos, like their close cousin the southern white rhino, feed exclusively on short grass, which their massive mouths hoover up with the efficiency of a living, breathing lawnmower. They occupy a much more open savannah habitat than black rhinos, which feed on shrubs and other foliage.
Where do northern white rhinos live?
Northern white rhinos once ranged across north-western Uganda, southern Chad, south-western Sudan, the eastern part of Central African Republic and north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, political instability in these countries and growing demand for rhino horn led to an increase in poaching.
Armed conflict across Central Africa in the 1970s and early 1980s wiped out most of the remaining northern white rhinos except for a small population in Garamba National Park in DRC. In 2008, a survey in Garamba concluded that northern white rhinos had become extinct in the wild. This left just eight northern white rhinos in two zoos on opposite sides of the world – in the Czech Republic and California. Attention quickly turned to the northern white rhinos living in Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic.