White Rhino with her 2 month old calf – Lewa, Kenya 2022

White Rhino with her 2 month old calf. In Lewa Coservancy we were lucky to meet this White Rhino with her 2 month old calf twice. On one occasion it had just started to rain and this had caused the calf to become quite skittish and it was running around probably not knowing what to make of its first encounter with rain. The mother was always close by. On the other occasion they were fairly relaxed and in a delightful location with scattered bushes and long grass on a gentle slope. As they moved around we had great views of the calf. This was a rather special encounter with this magnificent animal and her delightful calf.

Female White Rhinos give birth to a single calf weighing 45-75kg after a gestation period of 480 days.Calves can be born at any time of the year and will stay with their mother for up to three years. Interestingly, the calf almost always walks in front of the mother. In contrast, Black Rhino calves almost always walk beside or behind its mother.

We had been lucky to see both Black and White Rhino. Confusingly they are both a similar colour but differ in many ways. It is more appropriate to call the White Rhino the Square-lipped Rhinoceros since this shape of lip is ideally suited to its grazing feeding style. The Black Rhino is a browser with a hooked lip which facilitates browsing. Hence the Black Rhino is more appropriately call the Hooked-lipped Rhinoceros. White Rhinos are larger than their black counterpart and have a distinct hump at the shoulder. White Rhinos can reach 5m in length, and 1.8m at the shoulder. The female White Rhino can weigh an impressive 1700 kg whilst the male can be up to 2300kg.

The Craig family, who set up Lewa, have done an amazing conservation job in protecting the White Rhinos. There is now a flourishing population of these magnificent animals. In this conservancy along with the neighbouring Borana conservancy there are about 238 Black and White Rhinos, representing some 13% of the Kenyan Rhino population. Save the Rhino!