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Temperament of Black vs White Rhinos

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Coelacanth18, 1 Mar 2019.

  1. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I remember hearing or reading somewhere that black and white rhinos have very different temperaments, which is why white rhinos can be mixed with other species while black rhinos need their own enclosure. Is this actually true? My main experience with African rhinos has been in Midwestern zoos like Saint Louis, Indianapolis, and the Chicago zoos; in these zoos, black (3 zoos) and white (1 zoo) are all given their own enclosure, except for a few birds at Saint Louis that stay in a separate area within the enclosure.

    Does anyone know of black rhinos being mixed with other species, or how common it actually is to mix white rhinos in rather than keeping them separate? And is there actually a difference in their temperaments that affects husbandry?
     
  2. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    Leipzig has black rhinos with cheetahs
     
  3. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    White rhinos are social in the wild. Zoos didn't know this for decades, and when they started keeping them in herds is when they cracked the breeding problem for white rhinos. Black rhinos are much more solitary, which is why you don't see them in mixed exhibits. At the San Diego Safari Park they have the white rhinos in the field exhibits with multiple other species. The black rhinos are in their own exhibit. This is true at DAK also. I have never seen a mixed species exhibit with black rhinos.
     
  4. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    White rhino is also a calmer/more placid animal, Black is more aggressive/nervous/highly strung. Which is why drive-through Safari Parks (nearly) always have the former from the safety aspect too, as well as mixing okay with other species. I don't know anywhere that has Black rhino in direct contact with visitors/vehicles.
     
  5. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    Don't Port Lympne allow the occasional female black rhino out onto the African safari, depending on the individuals nature?
     
  6. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I think they do...but remember visitors are high up in armoured army trucks going through, not in private cars!
     
  7. Black Footed Beast

    Black Footed Beast Well-Known Member

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    Busch Gardens has an island for Black Rhinos from what I remember, while having the White Rhinos with animals like Wildebeest and birds
     
  8. katinakalinakaterina

    katinakalinakaterina Well-Known Member

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    Yorkshire Wildlife Park (Doncaster) allow guests to feed and touch their older male black rhino (Jasper) from inside the rhino house through the bars, at the moment it is only Jasper that guests are able to interact with as the two others (Makibo, a young male and Najuma, a young female) haven't learned 'table manners' yet. Apparently Jasper was quite an aggressive and moody animal when he arrived at the park but now is much calmer. The ranger also said that you would and should never see a black rhino in a drive through safari.
     
  9. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, they are too nervous/aggressive in wide open spaces. Would be liable to charge at vehicles I think if frightened of something. They can become very tame otherwise of course and hand-feeding in a zoo is perfectly possible. But they can be nervous at any disturbance etc like a strange noise, more so than White rhino.
     
  10. katinakalinakaterina

    katinakalinakaterina Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, especially with the way some people drive through safari parks, I've heard some awfull stories and wouldn't like to see the outcome of rhino vs car. I'm also not sure if there is a difference in visual acuity between the species, i.e. do whites have better vision and are they able to associate engine noise with cars (and do not perceive a threat) whereas blacks have poor eyesight and react poorly to the noise of a car engine as they are unable to clearly make out the shape of a car and react as though the vehicle is a threat i.e. charge the car?
     
  11. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I think Blacks are more responsive to noise and react badly, more charging etc. But I was at Knowlsey SP the other day and a white rhino was walking purposefully along the road toward my car and he(?) would not detour off it. A staff chap in a van was waiting around him with lights flashing, but he wouldn't get off the road and carried straight on toward me. As he looked a bit skittish I hurriedly reversed(fortunately only a couple of other cars) as I don't know just how placid they really are and wasn't going to take a chance.... Eventually he veered off onto the grass...
     
  12. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    I've only ever seen Black Rhinos in mixed exhibits, at Saint Louis (with Sacred Ibis).
     
  13. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    SDZSP has had a black rhino in one of the field exhibits for a few years, though I believe it’s not mixed anymore.
     
  14. katinakalinakaterina

    katinakalinakaterina Well-Known Member

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    Wow, bet that got the heart racing. The only safari park I can think of from memory is Longleat. Theye have four whites and they are usually out on the drive through area, unfortunately when I visited last September, they were in their own exhibit due to a TB warning (though I think this is more to do with the surrounding farmland as I'm not sure how vulnerable rhinos actually are and I think it was more in response to the warning for local farmland than a risk to the park). Also collections holding rhinos in mixed exhibits may be becoming more concerned about security after what happened at the Paris? Zoo and they may house them individually or outside of mixed exhibits to ensure they are safe.
     
  15. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I've been in many drive-throughs with White Rhinos over the years but they are usually just placidly grazing- its the first and only time I have had a rather different experience...but it was nothing compared to being in a dodgy jeep in Assam and being pursued at high speed by a genuinely angry Great Indian Rhino ( and yes they can overturn vehicles occassionally).
     
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  16. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Wow, thanks for all of the responses everyone! Popular thread.

    Fascinating mix! Seems like quite a liability...

    Thanks @DavidBrown I didn't actually know this, although reflecting now it does make sense.

    Yeah, but from what I've seen the two never really mix; the ibises are always near the front of the exhibit at the watered area, while the rhinos are always in the rest of the enclosure.
     
  17. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member

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    When I was there about a year ago, the tour guide pointed out the one black rhino in one of the mixed exhibits. He was the only rhino in that section.