Browse preference of captive black rhinos at Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage, Zimbabwe

Mduduzi Ndlovu, Peter J. Mundy


Captive black rhinos (Diceros bicornis) were offered five species of woody plant in ‘cafeteria’ trials, for the animals to show any dietary preferences. Six out of seven rhinos were mother-reared, half of them wild born the others captive born. The seventh rhino was hand-reared and this one consumed significantly less browse than did the mother-reared animals. Combretum hereroense, Acacia nilotica and Albizia amara were significantly more preferred than Acacia karroo and Peltophorum africanum. The last named had the highest tannin levels, soluble insoluble, and fibre-bound, which probably accounted for its low preference. No correlations were found between browse preference and crude protein, calcium and sodium.


Black Rhino; browse preferences; captive trials

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