Zoo Animals


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.

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 gray. 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.

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.