A Charging Rhino
Charging Rhino

Are Rhinos Dangerous? (Bad Eyesight Plays A Part in Aggression)

Rhinos are big, strong animals. If they want to, they can be very dangerous. They usually lead a solitary life; however, a rhino will directly charge at the perceived threat to intimidate them or even start a fight whenever they feel threatened. Rhinos don’t go looking for trouble; however, they will deal with it aggressively when it comes their way.


Rhinos don’t have excellent eyesight because they generally dont need to see far in the distance since these gigantic animals do not need perfect vision to protect themselves from predators. 

Their lack of eyesight does not act as a weakness for rhinoceroses. If anything, the fact that they have weak vision makes these animals even more dangerous. 

As these animals cannot rely on their eyesight to determine whether the approaching animal or human is friendly, anything that enters their territory is perceived as a threat to them.


That is why it is hard to judge the reaction of a rhino if a visitor enters their territory. A rhino may see them as a threat and charge them in preemptive self-defence.

The rhinos generally use their horns as a weapon. However, that does not mean it is the only weapon that they have. Along with the horn, rhinos also use their formidable speed and size and the lower incisor teeth to attack the perceived threat. Rhinoceroses can knock over a vehicle full of people with ease.

Mercurial Animals

Rhinos can be considered mercurial animals, meaning sudden or unpredictable mood changes. If a rhino is in an attacking mode, there is hardly any other animal as dangerous as it.

However, if they are not in the mood to fight, they might leave you alone without giving you even a second glance.

Sometimes it all depends on the individual rhino’s character and the situation they are in. For example, mother rhinos will be on high alert, and male rhinos looking for a mate will also be considered dangerous. However, rhinos not in these heightened situations will ignore what once would be a threat.

Some rhinos will escape various situations instead of confronting the threat if there are not in the mood. 

As rhinos can run up to 40 miles per hour, they can make a speedy getaway when required. Generally, rhinos live a very solitary life and do not pick fights with other rhinos or animals for no reason. The only time rhinos charge towards others is when they feel highly threatened.

Protective Nature

You’re mistaken if you think that rhinos only think about protecting themselves from perceived threats. Rhinos can be protective of each other as well. 

Even though rhinoceros mostly live solitary, female rhinos are very protective of their babies. The rhino babies stay with their mothers for more than two years. During that time, the mother rhino becomes very protective of their young. 

While caring for their babies, the mother rhino does not mate with the males, and they do not hesitate to defend their babies when necessary. 

If she feels that her baby is being threatened in any way, she instantly becomes a very dangerous opponent.

Predators Of The Rhino

As the rhinos are such powerful animals, they do not have many predators in the wild. Even though big cats and other predators can hunt baby rhinos, they do not dare hunt down a fully grown adult rhinoceros. 

Even though these animals are hazardous, they have become endangered in the last few decades. Poaching is partly responsible for this affair. 

As rhinoceroses horns hold a great value in the black market in some parts of the world, these animals are sadly getting killed to maintain the supply chain.

Which rhino species is the most dangerous?

The Black rhino is the most aggressive among the five existing rhino species. However, white rhinoceroses are responsible for more human deaths than black rhinoceros. The reason is the number of white rhinoceros is far greater than the black ones in the African wild.

How To Stay Alive If A Rhino Is Charging At You

Let’s hope you are never in a situation where you need to instigate any of these below. But these should help when in time of need. 

Stay still

As we have already mentioned, rhinoceroses do not have excellent eyesight. So they cannot see you clearly while charging towards you. These gigantic animals do not see well, so they may mistake you for a tree or some overgrowth and completely ignore you. In such a situation, staying rooted in the place you are standing is always better.

Stay Downwind

The Jungle’s rule is always to stay downwind if you want to avoid predators. This rule applies to rhinoceroses as well. Like many other animals, rhinos can also sense the presence of other animals through their smell. If you maintain a downwind position, the chances are the rhinos will not be able to smell you.

Climb A Tree

If you have the opportunity, you should try to climb up on a tree as fast as possible. Even though Rhinos are extremely powerful, they cannot climb. So, if you can go up a couple of feet from the ground, the chances are these animals will not be pursuing you. If you do not know how to climb a tree, standing behind one can be another good option in a time of need.

Use Your Voice

You can try clapping, singing, and shouting to stop a rhino from charging towards you. Even if it may not seem likely, shouting can help you to avoid the attack. It is better to create a sound that is familiar to the rhinoceros.

Run In A Zig Zag

If you want to outrun a rhinoceros, you should try to run in a zig-zag pattern. It will enhance your chances of avoiding the attacks of the rhinoceros. If the rhino misses you while chasing you, you might try to turn around and run in the other direction.

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Teresa Milne

Teresa is learning zoology and loves to share her knowledge through her articles. She is also a avid binge watcher of wild animal documentary's. Teresa has some pets that she adores two dogs, two cats, and one hamster. She has also studied canine behaviour and canine nutrition.