Southern White Rhinoceros

Ceratotherium simum

southern white rhinoceros


South and north-east Africa


Dry savannah and grasslands


Grasses and other vegetations


16 months, usually one offspring born


50 years in the wild, longer in captivity


Humans; hyenas and lion may attack calves

Conservation Status:

Near threatened


There are three Asian species of rhinos – Sumatran, Javan (critically endangered) and Indian (vulnerable). Once found throughout Euroasia and Africa, the numbers of rhinoceros have dropped dramatically due to habitat loss and poaching.

There are three Asian species of rhinos – Sumatran, Javan (critically endangered) and Indian (vulnerable). Southern white rhino were nearly extinct in the early 1900s but are now a real conservation success story. From less than 100 animals they now number over 20,000 in the wild in protected areas and private game reserves. After 121 years of successful protection and management they are no longer on the endangered species list and are now classified as 'near threatened' in the wild.

In contrast the Northern White Rhino subspecies is nearly extinct in the wild due to hunting for meat and poaching for its valuable horn.

At Hamilton Zoo:

Zoos like us play their part by showcasing animals as ambassadors for wild populations and conservation projects, as well as providing genetically sound reserve populations.

Hamilton’s white rhino breeding programme has been exceptionally successful with seven rhinos born at the zoo. They include:

Inkosi (male) born 6 January 2002. Inkosi moved to Auckland Zoo on 16 May 2007.

Mtoto (male) born 17 February 2004. Mtoto also moved to Auckland Zoo with Inkosi on 16 May 2007. He moved again on 6 September 2016 to Altina Wildlife Park in New South Wales, Australia.

Imani (female) born 26 March 2007. Imani remains at Hamilton Zoo.

Kifaru (male) born 30 April 2009. Kifaru moved to National Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra on 6 April 2014.

Ubuntu (male) born 12 March 2010. Ubuntu also moved to National Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra with Kifaru on 6 April 2014.

Jamila (female) born 6 March 2012. Jamila also remains at Hamilton Zoo. Jamila’s dad is Kruger and mum is Moesha.

Samburu (male) born 28 June 2016.

Meet our rhinos up close with a Face2Face encounter. Learn about their personalities, lives here at Hamilton Zoo and conservation issues in the wild. 10% of every encounter fee goes directly to the Hamilton Zoo Conservation Fund who support the work of the Save the Rhino International.