Spot a Rare Black Rhino in Ngorongoro Crater

July 01, 2011
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Nature travel in Tanzania offers hundreds of opportunities to see animals that most have only gotten to know through textbooks and magazines. In the Ngorongoro Crater, visitors will have the best chance on a Kenya and Tanzania safari to spot a black rhino, a critically endangered species.

According to Bagheera, an organization working to educate people about endangered species, the black rhinoceros measures up to 14 feet long, stands nearly five feet at the shoulder, and can weigh up to 4,000 pounds. They can be distinguished from their white cousins not only in color, but by lip shape. While the white rhino has a squared lip, the black rhino has a pointed upper lip, which helps it to maintain its herbivorous diet that comes from trees and bushes. Skin color can depend more on local conditions and the rhinoceros' wallowing behavior than anything else, so black rhinos are not always truly black in color.

The black rhino's two horns, which are its distinguishing characteristics, are also one of the reasons it’s in danger of becoming extinct. Made of millions of hairlike fibers, the black rhino's horns grow as much as three inches per year, and have been found to grow as much as nearly five feet. Rhinos use their horns to battle attackers, but unfortunately they are also attacked by poachers who can make an enormous profit from the horns on the black market.

Don’t miss your chance to spot this rare creature in Tanzania.


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