Frequently called Black Rhinoceros, this species is more appropriately known as the Hook-lipped Rhinoceros, due to the triangular-shaped upper lip. They are dark grey with slightly lighter underparts, but the body colour is influenced by its habit of wallowing in dust and mud.
While they look very similar, the lifestyles pf the black and white rhino differ significantly. Black Rhino are browsers and live in wooded areas where they find their food and can hide away. They tend to be secretive animals.
Once the Black Rhino was widely distributed through-out the southern African region, but they now occur naturally only in some KwaZulu-Natal reserves, north-western Namibia, the Zambezi Valley and in some parts of southern Mozambique. Unfortunately, the Black Rhino population has been brought to the verge of extinction through relentless poaching.
Currently there are less than 3,500 Black Rhinos living freely in Southern Africa, which makes it one of Africa’s top 10 most endangered animals.
The rapid decline in numbers of both African rhinoceros species is a direct result of the demand for their horns. Until recently most of the horns found their way to Yemen, where they were carved into dagger handles for tribesmen, and to the Far East, where they are used in the production of traditional medicines.