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.
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.