It’s time for another animal fight. How about a rhino vs bear?
For the rhino combatant, we have the white rhino. They are herbivores native to Africa and are the second largest land mammal after the elephant. For the bear combatant, we have the grizzly bear, an apex predator omnivore that lives in North America.
Since these species would never naturally meet one another in the wild, I will compare the traits and abilities of these two species to determine the likely winner. In a bear vs rhino fight?
A white rhino is a herbivorous (plant-eating) mammal that is native to the continent of Africa. These animals are massive, in fact, they are the second-largest mammal by weight in Africa behind only the elephant.
White Rhino vs Grizzly Bear: Size
Grizzly bears are quite variable in size, with boars (males) often much larger than sows (females). Boars can easily weigh over 500 kg (1,100 lbs), while sows are usually closer to 375 kg (800 lbs).
Like grizzly bears, white rhinos display drastic differences in weight based on gender. Female white rhinos average about 1300 kg (2,900 lbs), but the males are true behemoths, weighing in at an average of 2500 kg (5,500 lbs). Males on the larger end of the weight spectrum can reach a colossal 3,500 kg (7,700 lbs)!
Even the biggest grizzly bears are not even half the size of the smallest adult white rhinos. In any case, a white rhino will be much larger than a grizzly bear.
White Rhino vs Grizzly Bear: Speed
Both white rhinos and grizzly bears are surprisingly fast for their gigantic size. These animals have short legs and, thus, short strides that help propel their movement quickly. They can also both accelerate at an incredible rate and easily outrun any humans (even Olympic sprinters).
Grizzly bears have been known to sustain speeds of 40 – 48 kilometres per hour for several minutes. Several reports have suggested that these creatures can reach 56 kilometres per hour, but these reports still need to be verified.
Despite weighing over 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs), white rhinos are exceptionally quick for their size. It turns out that white rhinos are pretty comparable in speed to grizzly bears, with reports indicating that their top speed is 50 kilometres per hour. However, white rhinos can only sustain this speed for a few moments.
White Rhino vs Grizzly Bear: Attack Power
If a white rhino were to go on the offensive, they are well-equipped to damage their opponent with their massive horns and ability to accelerate and trample an opponent rapidly.
Most don’t think about a rhino’s teeth when considering this animal. Still, rhinos have fairly sharp teeth for a herbivore since they often feed on tree branches, roots, and other tough plant material. This means a rhino could administer a strong bite to take down a foe during an attack.
Grizzly bears are used to being at the top of the food chain, and though they eat meat, they are not exclusively carnivorous like species of big cats and consequently lack razor-sharp teeth. Nonetheless, grizzly bears are opportunistic feeders and will attack to subdue prey when given a chance.
When one of these brutes goes on the attack, they first target their opponent with their claws that can reach up to 10 cm (4 in) in length. Using their powerful forelimbs, grizzlies can deliver lethal blows with their claws. They also have powerful jaws that can exert a bite force of over 1,400 newtons, causing substantial damage to their target.
White Rhino vs Grizzly Bear: Defence
Intimidation alone is one of the grizzly bear’s best forms of defence. Standing 2.4 m (8 ft) on their hind legs, few animals would dare to challenge such an imposing beast.
Although rhinos are surprisingly agile, a grizzly bear has better movement ability than a rhino and would therefore be better at dodging attacks. Grizzly bears can also use their claws to fend off any opponent.
White rhinos have excellent defensive abilities, as they are essentially armoured tanks with four legs. The skin covering their backs and sides is impenetrable, though the skin near their neck and stomachs is not as protective and is a vulnerable area.
It is unlikely that a grizzly could sneak up on a rhino, though, as white rhinos have terrific hearing abilities. In addition to their armour-like skin, rhinos can use their huge horns to injure an attacking grizzly bear.
Defence is an area where white rhinos excel, as they are superior to grizzly bears. Grizzly bears may be able to move better than a rhino, but their soft bodies leave them helpless to most attacks from a rhino.
White Rhino vs Grizzly Bear Who Would Win in a Fight?
This rhino vs bear fight is only heading one way, with the white rhino winning. The white rhino dwarfs a grizzly bear in size and has two huge horns to attack with, and for defence, the rhino has thick skin.
The grizzly bear would likely attack the white rhino by biting and slashing it with its claws. However, a single bear would not be strong enough to take the rhino down quickly enough before the white rhino fights back. Instead, it is more likely that the bear would attack the rhino only to be deterred by the armour-like skin.
Once the rhino switches to the offensive, it tramples the bear or attacks with its two horns. The bear would be helpless to do anything other than try to avoid the rhino’s attack, as a rhino’s horn would easily pierce its fur-covered body.
Even though the grizzly bear would have the advantage of being quicker, it is just outmatched by the white rhino.