The male Rhinoceros is ready for mating between the ages of 7 and 8 years old. However, if there are other males to compete with it can be much older than that before it is able to find females that are receptive to such advances. The bigger and stronger males are the ones that will have the best success when it comes to mating. For females mating can begin from the ages of 5 and 6.
The adult Rhinoceros are loners for the most part but they will find each other for mating. The males are aggressors for it and that doesn’t always get accepted by the females. In fact, it is common for fierce fights to occur between the males and females because the male won’t take no for an answer when it comes to mating. The male usually does get his way and then they will go their separate ways after mating has occurred.
The male will move on to continue looking for other females that he can mate with. The mothers will carry the young calf in her body for a period of time that is from 15 months to 16 months. She will nurse the young with milk from her body for about the first year of life. However, these young offspring are also introduced to plants and grass when they are about a week old. They will feed on it in addition to the rich milk.
The young will stay with their mother for a period of time that can last from 2 years to 4 years. Generally the females are able to stay with their mothers for the longest periods of time. The young males are often run off when they are about 2 years of age. It can be extremely difficult for them to be able to survive out there due to the need to find their own territory.
They will be pushed to the outer rim of the areas because the older and stronger males will already have their stakes at various locations. This can make it very hard for the younger ones to be able to find enough food and water to survive. When the older Rhinoceros with large horns are killed though they are sometimes able to move into those territories.
In spite of being extremely aggressive animals, the female Rhinoceros is very caring and attentive of her young. She seems to thrive on catering to the needs of her young. A great deal of what we understand about Rhinoceros behavior and communication has stemmed from the careful observation of these animals with their young.
The fact that the mother carries the young in her body for more than 1 year and she may keep it with her for several years is a huge problem when it comes to increasing their numbers. The females may take three years to mate again. Sometimes the males will become aggressive and try to kill the young too in order to get the opportunity to mate with the female.
These young Rhinoceros can sometimes fall victim of crocodiles, large cats, and wild dogs out there. The larger they become in size though the better chance they have of survival to adulthood. However, they then face the problems of humans hunting them for their horns. In captivity there are some programs implemented to assist with the dynamics of all of this. They often remove the young from the mother so that she is more willing to mate again. They also have protective measures in place to help ensure the young can thrive and survive.