Southern white rhinoceros

Ceratotherium simum simum

At the Detroit Zoo
Male southern 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. Tamba is the more dominant of the two, though both seem to enjoy exploring the habitat and playing with the toys. The rhinos can be seen outdoors and indoors in their habitat near the Japanese macaques in the African Grasslands.

Southern white rhinoceroses are the second largest land mammals, smaller only than elephants. They have barrel-shaped bodies that are sparsely covered in hair. They have tufts of hair within their ears and on the ends of their tails. Contrary to their name, white rhinos are actually light gray. Their name is thought to originate from the Dutch word “weit,” meaning wide, referring to their wide square muzzles which are used for grazing on grasses.

Fun Facts

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