Although bigger in shoulder height, a white rhino bull is outweighed by a big male hippo. Adult rhinos can reach a shoulder height of about 171 - 183 cm. Males weigh between 2040 - 2260kg and the females average around 1600kg. (Adult hippos reach a shoulder height of between 140 - 165 cm. Males weigh between 1600 to 3200 kg. Female hippos average about 1400kg).
A high-stepping trot timed at about 29 km/h, can be maintained for at least 5 kilometers. They can gallop at 40 km/h. Man cannot outrun a charging rhino.
Adult females live in home ranges overlapping the territories of several adult bulls. They are rarely solitary and typically associate with their most recent offspring. When the mother gives birth to a new calf, she rejects her previous calf of between 2-3 years old. Such a juvenile seeks another companion, preferably of the same age and sex, but may attach itself transiently to another cow with a calf. Calfless cows will tolerate even more than one juvenile substitute. Two calfless cows may join forces. In this way stable herds of up to 6 animals can be formed. Larger groups of up to a dozen animals usually represent temporary aggregations.
Adult bulls are mostly solitary. Except for checking females' urine, they associate only with those in estrus. Satellite bulls may reside within a particular bull's territory, as long as they behave submissively at all times. When water is not available locally, a territorial bull may visit a water source in a neighbour's territory, but will behave submissively. Territorial bulls maintain about 20 - 30 dung middens in their territories. They have the habit to scatter the dung pile with slow, ritualized kicks before and after defecation. Females, youngsters and non-territorial males, add their deposits to these middens, but do not scatter it.
Only territorial males spray urine (directed backwards through the hind legs), and do that whilst patrolling boundaries. They follow a ritual: first the bull horn-wipes a bush or the ground; then he scrapes the ground with his feet; lastly he sprays the spot a few times. When a territorial bull visits his neighbour's territory to drink, he will urinate in a stream, just like sub-ordinates do.
When a urine-test reveals a cow approaching estrus, the territorial bull will court her for up to 20 days, following at the distance set by her. He will try to keep her in his territory if she attempt to quit the premises. Stimulated by her urine as she comes into full estrus, the male will dare to come closer, crooning a 'love song', but retreats each time she threatens him. Eventually the cow will allow mounting. Copulation lasts for at least 30 minutes. Gestation is about a 16 month period.