Fierce and protective yet gentle and patient – rhino moms may be some of the best mothers in the animal kingdom!
All five rhino species have a long gestation period. Rhino moms are pregnant for 15-16 months before giving birth to a single calf.
Depending on the species, rhino moms will nurse calves up to two years. For the first six months, Sumatran rhino calves will nurse every one to two hours! Below is a video of young Delilah nursing from Ratu in 2015.
All rhino species make for very attentive mothers. Rhino moms will spend a lot of energy feeding her calf, keeping it safe, and teaching it how to take care of itself. See how cautious this Javan rhino mom is in this camera trap footage from Ujung Kulon NP (2016):
Calves will stay close to mom until they’re one and a half to two years old. By that time, Mom may be ready to give birth to her next calf!