Rhinos are tough animals. But how strong is a rhino truly? Well, They are pretty strong and can protect themselves in the wild. They do not have any potential hunters out there except for humans of course. Rhinoceros are so strong that they can even toss a car or even level huge termite mounds and trees.
How Strong is a Rhino?
Rhinoceros are a strong species. The heavy vegetation diet they go through helps their muscles to develop as concrete. They are so strong that they can toss a car like a toy. There are recent reports of the rhino flipping a car thrice with a zookeeper man inside. The enraged animal attacked the car with its body and nose and flipped it with immense strength.
Another visitor recorded the whole incident. The animal was brought to the park just a few months ago for breeding and it hasn’t been violent since then. Though no one knew what enraged the beast, zoo people claimed that it presents no harm to the visitors. However, the zookeeper inside the van survived with a few bruises all over his body.
White rhinos are even seen uprooting trees and leveling huge termite mounds. Scientists often describe such behavior as an outcome of an exhausted rhino. But they also charge such inanimate objects when they are confused as they don’t see very well.
The armored skin on the rhinoceros sure looks tough. Many people even considered it bulletproof. But is rhino skin really bulletproof? No, it is not. Otherwise, they couldn’t have been murdered this way by humans. But the skin is still pretty tough. It is about 2 to 5 inches thick which is no joke. However, it is surprisingly sensitive.
However, the thickest skin in the world doesn’t belong to rhinoceroses. It belongs to the whale shark and it is about 10 inches thick.
Rhino Defense Weapon
Nature has provided the rhinoceros with a majestic horn on its nose. From the nose horn, it got its name. The nasal horn has often been considered a magic treatment for incurable diseases. For that, the rhino has been mercilessly hunted by humans. But the horn is an excellent defensive weapon also.
Rhinoceros horn has a bony core and is made of keratin, a substance that is found in human nails and hair. It mostly resembles horse hooves, cockatoos bills, or turtle beaks. The bony helps the horn to be tough and strong as concrete.
Aggression Differing in Rhino Species
Among all the 5 species the black rhinos are the most aggressive ones. The white and the black ones are found in Africa. Both of them are huge and comparatively have more anger issues than their Asian counterparts.
Asian rhinoceroses are not as aggressive as African ones. Still, there are stories of the Asian species charging domestic elephants with tourists on their backs on safaris. So if you’re on a safari on the back of an elephant in a rhinoceros-infested area, you must keep your eyes open.
All the species are equally territorial and use dung to mark their areas. They constantly fight with other bulls for territorial and mating purposes.
Angry mothers are often seen chasing down safari jeeps and elephants for the safety of her child. However, the human death rate due to such attacks is quite less. There are about 2 attacks recorded per year in the national parks.
3 Strong Competitors of a Rhino
Though rhinos have no natural predators, it is true that they are not invincible and are often attacked in the wild. Some of the attackers are herbivores, some of them are carnivores, and sometimes it is just another bull of their species.
The massive bulky hippopotamus can easily withstand a rhino charge. Their huge teeth and bite force are enough to scare away any wild being. They are more aggressive than all other herbivores with around fifty confirmed human kills per year.
An angry hippo is undoubtedly able to kill the rhinoceros in a face-off. But only when the opponent is injured or has its horn missing. That is a great drawback for a rhinoceros in a fight. However, hippos don’t have any particular weakness.
Hippos surely are more aggressive but their opponent doesn’t know when to back down.
Lastly, the rhino loses the fight if it has no horn, or if both of them are near water or a hippo-infested area. Otherwise, in most of the 1 vs 1 fights, hippos would lose. Some fights end up as a draw also.
Young bull elephants seem very enthusiastic about killing the rhinoceros. When in musth, they were seen trying to mate with a rhinoceros and killing it when it failed. A single rhinoceros is helpless in front of a herd of elephants and has to flee. Also, fights occur between the species due to territorial reasons and food scarcity.
The young bull elephants try to attack the opponent from its side and avoid facial contact. Which is no surprise as it has to dodge the horn. The massive needle on the nose can cause serious damage to the elephant.
But if the elephant can avoid it, then the rhinoceros needs to be concerned. Because the largest land mammal can crush its ribs and bones if it can roll it over. And that is exactly what the elephant wants to do.
However, both of their population is decreasing constantly as they are being hunted by humans and due to deforestation.
A single lion is never enough for fight with a rhinoceros. A whole pride is needed for this task. Their main prey is injured rhino and unattended calves.
Big cats prefer sick or dying prey to healthy and strong ones. However, there is always a risk for them of being stomped or gored to death. Because the rhinoceros can easily swing its head and set the lion flying. This is why no single lion ever makes the attack.
Even lions were seen being chased down by a rhino in the wild. The lion is undoubtedly a great hunter but in front of a rhinoceros, it has no choice but to escape from the picture. Because rhinos are furiously agile than lions. So a lion would probably get exhausted faster when in a chase.
However, calves are often attacked by huge bulls of the same species among the herbivores. This happens due to the female having no interest in mating until her baby is grown up.
Exactly how strong is a rhinoceros? Let’s just say that it is strong enough. It has no potential predators but is often attacked and injured. However, it can defend its territory and keep things in order.
Lastly, its biggest threat is humans. Due to humans many of its species are now extinct.
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