Q:

How long do rhinos live?

A:

Quick Answer

In the wild, black rhinos live for 30 to 35 years, whereas white rhinos live for as many as 50 years. Other species of rhinos live for 30 to 40 years. Rhinos typically live longer in captivity than they do in the wild.

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How long do rhinos live?
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Full Answer

Rhinos often do not live out their full lifespans in the wild due to predation, poaching, habitat loss, natural disasters and disease. The greatest danger to rhinos comes from poaching. Rhino horn is traditionally used in China and Southeast Asia as medicine to treat blood disorders, fever and cancer. In some areas, poachers have decimated entire populations of rhinos. Because of their size, adult rhinos face little danger from predators, but crocodiles, wild dogs, hyenas and big cats sometimes prey on rhino young. Habitat loss due to illegal acquisition of wild land threatens rhinos in southern Africa and Sumatra. In Java, protected areas for rhinos are under threat from tsunamis and volcanoes. Also in Java, local cattle pass diseases on to rhinos.

To ensure the remaining rhinos can live their full lifespans safely, governments and conservation organizations undertake projects that involve relocating rhino populations into game reserves, protecting habitats by establishing new reserves, increasing law enforcement to combat poaching, and tracking and monitoring existing rhino populations.

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    Elephants evolved to their current size over the course of tens of millions of years; this size adaptation is likely a survival mechanism because a full-sized, adult elephant faces very little threat from predators, though baby elephants are much more vulnerable to predation from big cats such as lions and wild dogs. There have been cases in which adult elephants have fallen victim to attack from big cats, but these cases are rare. The elephant is the largest known land animal, but scientists believe that this massive mammal evolved from a creature that is roughly the size of a small rodent.

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    The median lifespan of an elephant in the wild is 56 years for female African elephants and 42 years for female Asian elephants. Elephants can reach ages of over 70 years old. In captivity, elephants only live to be about 17 years old — one year short of adulthood.

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    Are rhinos endangered?

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    Three of the five species of rhinoceros are listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List: the black rhinoceros, the Javan rhinoceros and the Sumatran rhinoceros. The Indian rhinoceros is listed as vulnerable, and the white rhinoceros is listed as threatened.

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    What do rhinos eat?

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    Rhinoceroses are herbivorous mammals, meaning they do not consume meat but subsist on plant matter only. They tend to eat whatever vegetation is available to them, and rhinos have adapted specific features to enable this kind of diet.

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