As you can imagine based on the size of the Rhinoceros they spend plenty of time eating. They are also going to consume a great deal of food in that period of time. They are plant eaters even though it is commonly circulating that they are vicious meat eaters. They get more vitamins and nutrients from plants and grass than other animals. This is due to the way in which their body processes the food sources.
Rather than the food being quickly digested, a large amount of it remains in the gut where it will ferment. As a result of this they get more fiber and other nutrients from when it is processed and that helps them to give these enormous bodies what they need for survival. The Rhinoceros lives close to water because they have to take water often. Without water they will die and so they never venture too far from areas where they can get the water they need. The most they can go without water is for a period of five days.
They don’t have very good eyesight so they rely upon their sense of smell to help them find food. The primary source of food will depend on the region and the species of Rhinoceros. Some of them prefer grass while others are more interested in leaves and plants than the grass.
The Rhinoceros lives in regions where it can become extremely hot during the day. Even though they have thick skin they need to protect it from the sunlight. They will be hunting for food early in the morning hours when it is still cool. That is often when they will also go searching for water to drink.
As the sun goes down they will begin looking for food again. They can spend several hours in the evening looking for food and consuming it. They tend to eat at a slow pace to because they don’t have too much of a risk of predators when they are adults. They can often feed without being bothered other than by humans.
There are more than 200 different types of plants that the various species of Rhinoceros are known to consume. What they eat often depends on where they live. Many of the plants can also be seasonal so they can only consume them during certain times of the year.
The baby Rhinoceros is going to get most of its nutrition from the milk of the mother. They will consume it for the first year of life. At the same time though they will feed on plants and grass. They start to eat this type of food around a week old. As they get older they consume more of it and less milk until they are completely weaned.
The ability to vary their diet based on what is available is a very important element of their survival. In some instances they have been seen consuming the bark from trees in an effort to survive when other normal sources of food are very scarce.
The fact that these animals eat so much makes it extremely expensive to care for them in captivity. This is why most zoos only have one of them, two at the very most. Money to care for these animals and to feed them in sanctuaries often comes from government programs and private donations.
To help offset these costs some locations have areas where they grow various forms of grass and plant life that are used just for the purpose of being able to feed these animals. There are also supplements that can be offered in captivity that reduce the amount of foliage that has to be offered to these animals.