Shoulder height 160cm. Weight 1,000kg.
This is the more widespread of Africa's two rhino species, an imposing and rather temperamental creature. (White rhino are not thought to have been native to Zambia.) In the 1960s, the black rhino was recorded in the Kafue, Luangwa, Lower Zambezi and in the far north around Sumbu and Mweru Wantipa. However, by the late 1990s it had probably been poached to extinction in Zambia, whilst becoming highly endangered in many of the other countries within its range. (There were a handful of reports of isolated individual animals existing in very remote areas; none were ever confirmed.) However, in mid-2003 black rhino were re-introduced into a subsection of North Luangwa National Park, and there are plans to bring more in.
Black rhinos exploit a wide range of habitats from dense woodlands and bush, and are generally solitary animals. They can survive without drinking for 4–5 days. However, their territorial behaviour and regular patterns of movement make them an easy target for poachers. Black rhinos can be very aggressive when disturbed and will charge with minimal provocation. Their hearing and sense of smell are acute, whilst their eyesight is poor (so they often miss if you keep a low profile and don't move).