Are Rhinos Intelligent? How to Train a Rhino?

Rhinoceroses are smart animals. They might have a small brain compared to the size of their bodies. But that doesn’t restrain them from being emotional or logical. Their decisions most often seem very logical if they are thought through.

Are Rhinos Intelligent

How Intelligent is a Rhino?

The Rhinoceros is a very intelligent creature. It can be tamed, trained, or petted. They are so smart that they are like giant dogs! They react quite effectively to different whistles, signals, and treats just as other canine trainees. As a result, they are often used in circuses.

Rhinos are highly emotional and are attached dearly to their close counterparts. The herbivore shows emotion through different activities such as making sounds and snorts. Their sounds can carry important meanings. Such as they snort when they’re angry, screaming when scared, and panting to convey different messages. The beast can also feel happiness and sadness.

two rhinoceroses walking on grass

It is a highly territorial being. It leaves behind piles of dung to mark the territory. Often two bulls are found to be fighting to claim land or a female.

How to Train a Rhinoceros

Highly skilled trainers are needed to tame such a wild giant. Zoos, reserves, and national parks hire such skillful trainers to work at their sanctuary.

The trainer team then observes the rhinoceros. They keep him under complete surveillance and try to learn what the animal likes and what it dislikes. They talk to the caretakers of the rhino to know as much as possible.

After that, they gradually start introducing a thing or two to the animal’s path or where it eats. It could be a ball or a whistle, or a sound. As a result, it comes across the thing on a daily basis and becomes familiar with it. This acts as a trigger for the rhino.

They then start making the rhino involved with the trigger. This part of the process generally includes a special treat that acts as a motivation for the creature. For example, if it tosses the ball it gets a hand-fed treat. The rhinoceros then gets accustomed to the practice of continuing the act on a daily basis in order to receive the treat. Then gradually it is trained to do further tasks.

In some zoos, the keepers start training the giant from a very early age. It helps them to be trained faster and more efficiently.

Benefits of the Training Program

Because rhinos are so big and strong it is quite difficult for trainers and caretakers to tame the animal to do the desired task. Because there is always a safety issue. Nobody wants to have an accident that involves such a giant creature.

But if the training is started at a very young age, they gradually get accustomed to it. It allows the caretakers, vets, and trainers to observe the animal from a very close range which would never have been possible without the program. This makes routine checkups so easy.

The program also enables the creature to do a lot of other tasks as well such as opening the mouth or standing on a scale, accepting injections or blood draws, and so on. The program is a long process yet the results are extraordinary.

A Smart Rhino

Rhinoceros are used in circuses since a long time ago. It helped a lot of people with their bread and butter. But acts like these are discouraged in recent times. As the animal is not properly fed or sheltered in most of the cases. Many of the animal rights are also violated in the process of training it. People are concerned now and don’t take these things as a matter of jokes.


Rhinos have small brains yet are rhinos intelligent? Yes, they are. They understand emotions and express themselves through activities and sounds. They can exhibit anger, sadness, and happiness. Lastly, the animal can be tamed and also is able to perform in the circus.

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Team Animalia Facts

"Team Animal Facts" is an expert group of wildlife enthusiasts who are impassioned for mysteries of animal life and dedicated to exploring them.

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