Black rhinos are solitary animals and seldom seen in our game parks, not to mention mating! Roger and Pat de la Harpe managed to snap some photos of black rhino mating and get a video clip while they were at it.
While working on our new book on lions we visited Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal to photograph the release of two male lions into the reserve to augment the gene pool. While searching for the lions we came across these black rhinos mating. What a sighting it was: black rhino are not easily seen at the best of times but to see them in open country like this was amazing and then mating as well!
Adult black rhino are solitary animals, usually only coming together for mating. This is not a seasonal occurrence though births tend to be towards the end of the rainy season. Courtship behaviour includes snorting and sparring with the horns among males and snorting and swinging the head from side to side aggressively before running away repeatedly from the female. Breeding animals stay together for two to three days, sometimes even weeks. They mate several times a day and copulation usually lasts for about half an hour. Gestation is 15 to 16 months.