Western Black Rhinoceros

Extinct 2011

Animal Group: Mammal
Regions: Africa
Sub-regions: Middle Africa, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa
Countries: Angola, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Chad, Rwanda, Botswana, Malawi, Swaziland and Zambia

The Western Black Rhinoceros, also known as the West African Black Rhinoceros, had a square-based horn. There were many people who believed the Western Black Rhinoceros' horns held medicinal value. This eventually led to heavy poaching. The rhinoceros was believed to be nearsighted and often relied on local birds to help them detect incoming threats.


The Western Black Rhinoceros was last recorded living in Cameroon. They once inhabited much of sub-saharan Africa. They are also believed to have lived in the western and southern countries of Tanzania through Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. The rhinoceros were considered browsers. In the morning or evenings, the rhinoceros would browse for food. During the hottest part of the day, the rhinoceros would sleep or wallow. Their common diet included leafy plants and shoots located around their habitat.


The Western Black Rhinoceros was officially declared extinct by the IUCN in 2011. In the beginning of the twentieth century, the Western Black Rhinoceros was heavily hunted. However, in the 1930's preservation actions were taken and the population continued to rise. The protection efforts eventually declined, along with the rhinoceros population. By the time 1980 came around, there were only hundreds of Western Black Rhinoceros left. By the year 2000, there were only an estimated ten rhinoceros' left, which dropped down to five by the year 2001. The last reported sighting was in Cameroon in 2006. They were officially declared extinct in 2011, but it is believed that they actually went extinct approximately five years before the IUCN declared them extinct.