Detroit Zoo White Rhino Page

Southern white rhinoceros

At the Detroit Zoo
Male white rhinoceroses Jasiri ("courageous" in Swahili) and Tamba ("strut proudly" in Swahili) arrived in 2005 as the first of their species to live at the Detroit Zoo. Jasiri often shows his playful side by ganging up on his toys while running around the habitat. Tamba is the more dominant of the two and struts around with confidence and intelligence. The rhinos can be seen outdoors and indoors in their habitat near the Japanese macaques in the African Grasslands.


The southern white rhinoceros is the second largest land mammal, smaller only than the elephant. It has a barrel-shaped body that is sparsely covered in hair. It has tufts of hair within its ears and on the end of its tail. Contrary to its name, the white rhino is actually light grey. Its name is thought to originate from the Dutch word "weit," meaning wide, referring to its wide square muzzle which is used for grazing on grasses.


Scientific name: Ceratotherium simum simum
Continent: Africa
Habitat: Open grasslands
Size: 11-14 feet long; up to 6 feet tall at the shoulder
Weight: 6,000 pounds
Diet: The southern white rhinoceros is an herbivore and mainly eats grasses.
Reproduction: Gestation 16 months; single calf
Lifespan: 34 years
Conservation Status: Near Threatened



 A rhino's horn is made up of keratin fibers (found in hair and nails) instead of bone, and grows from the rhino's skin.


A southern white rhino's head alone can weigh up to 1,000 pounds.