The rhinoceros, or rhino, is a mammal that has a great body mass and short legs. Their range is southern Asia and Africa. The animal's habitat is grasslands, subtropical forest and some tropical forests. The rhinoceros can weigh up to 5,500 lbs. and can run up to 40 mph. The horns are sought after and the primary reason the rhino is on the endangered species list. They have very few natural predators.
The rhino has one primary predator--human beings. Rhinos are easily hunted because they stay in the same territory and observe routines for eating and drinking. Poachers hunt the rhino predominantly for the horn, which is mostly sold in Asia for ornamentation or medicine. The rhino is also hunted for the hide. It is used for making a container for a Shradda ceremony to honor deceased parents and grandparents. The liver and meat are also used as well as dried blood. The bones are used to make lamps and for religious ceremonies.
The Nile crocodile is a predator of the rhino. It is considered a violent predator. The Nile crocodile does not show fear for the enormous animal, although it typically attacks the younger animals. The black rhino lives near the Nile crocodile's hunting grounds. The crocodile will lay in wait and attack in a flash, then drag the rhino beneath the water in a fierce move.
According to EcoTravel, the one other predator that will attack a rhinoceros is a tiger. Tigers have been known to attack young calves. The mother rhinoceros is very protective of her young, and she will fight to defend her offspring with her powerful body, horn and even her teeth.
According to The Telegraph in Calcutta, India, royal Bengal tigers do attack and kill rhinos. However, beginning in 2008, the tigers started attacking adults. An attack involved three tigers took down an adult rhino in the Kohora park. Officials believed that it took almost three hours to bring down the rhino. Another attack involved tigers that killed a pregnant rhino. Officials speculated that the attacks may have been due to an increase in the area's tiger population.
- Photo Credit rhino image by PASCAL BOUFFAY from Fotolia.com