And now, for something a bit horny…

Hey you – made you look!  You probably weren’t expecting a post dedicated to Rhinos, were you?

Rhino Grazing, April 2013
Rhino Grazing, April 2013

Part of my desire to see a Rhino was based on fear.  Fear that if I waited too long, they would be poached into extinction.  I certainly hope that doesn’t happen.  At last count, 273 had been lost in Kruger National Park this year alone.  It makes me feel sad and dismayed that people cling to these outdated, and patently false beliefs about the power of Rhino Horn (or Bear Gallbladder, Tiger parts…)   Sadly, as long as there is a market for these items, people will continue to brutalize animals.

The first time I saw a Rhino, it was somewhat anti-climatic.  We were just about to stop for sundowners, and there they were…. It was one of those sighting that I had to be told where to look, and I still didn’t see them at first.  They were far from us, in the tall grasses and amongst some bushes, in the falling light.  Blackish grey blobs in the distance.  Even at 300mm zoom, I couldn’t get a decent view of them. It didn’t help that the group of three was so focused on grazing, not a single one raised their heads the entire time we were stopped.  It was exciting to know they were there, but I really didn’t get a sense of them at all.

It wasn’t until our last evening game drive that we had a proper opportunity to watch the rhinos and get some good photo opportunities.  I was surprised by how close we were able to be to them in the vehicle, but they were completely unconcerned with us.  We were completely captivated viewing them, and they were completely captivated by their grazing.  I had heard previously that rhinos have terrible vision, and looking at them up close, it is easy to understand that fact, as they appear to have very small eyes in proportion to their body size, and they always look to me a bit squinty, like they need a strong pair of glasses.

Rhino at Londolozi, April 2013
Rhino at Londolozi, April 2013
Rhino and Oxpecker, April 2013
Rhino and Oxpecker, April 2013
Rhinos, April 2013
Rhinos, April 2013
Heading off for a new patch of grass.  Rhinos at Londolozi, April 2013
Heading off for a new patch of grass. Rhinos at Londolozi, April 2013

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