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Pienaar, D.J., 1994. Social organization and behaviour of the white rhinoceros: pp. 87-92, tables 1-2

In: Penzhorn, B.L. et al. Proceedings of a symposium on rhinos as game ranch animals. Onderstepoort, Republic of South Africa, 9-10 September 1994: pp. i-iv, 1-242

Location: Africa - Southern Africa - South Africa
Subject: Reproduction
Species: White Rhino

Original text on this topic:
Kruger NP. Young females underwent their first oestrus at about 5 years of age, but remained in subadult groups until the birth of their first calf at 6,5-7 years of age. Thereafter they are usually accompanied only by their offspring and are regarded as adult cows. Young males are regarded as adult once they became solitary between 10 and 12 years of age and assume either territorial male or subordinate male behaviour patterns.
White rhino cows being accompanied by bulls is an indication of oestrus. A flush of green grass after rains seems to induce the onset of oestrus in cows. The proportion of cows in oestrus remains high through the wet season and early dry season months and thereafter drops to low levels.
Dominant white rhino bulls investigated cows encountered within their territories, while cows responded with threatening snorts or roars. If a bull remained with a cow for more than a day, this was a sign that the cow was coming into oestrus. During the pre-oestrus consort period, the bull followed behind the cow and her companions. However, if a cow approached a territory boundary, the bull moved in front to block her progress. A confrontation sometimes ensued, with roars from the cow and squeals from the bull. If a cow was able to evade the bull and cross into the next territory, the bull did not follow and she was joined by the neighbouring bull. The pre-oestrus consort period typically lasted 1-2 weeks.
The onset of oestrus was indicated by the commencement of repeated approaches by the bull, accompanied by a hic-throbbing sound. Eventually the cow would let the bull mount her. Copulations lasted 15-30 minutes, with ejaculations every 4-5 minutes. The gestation period in white rhino is about 16 months and the mean intercalving interval is 2,5 years. Younger cows have shorter calving intervals than older cows.

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