Rhinoceros - #2 of the BIG 5 (74)
|White Rhinoceros / Ceratotherium simum|
The rhinoceros is the 2nd species I want to share with you as part of a group of animals known as the "BIG 5" animals of Africa. In my previous posting I shared the biggest of them all, the elephant.
The BIG 5 series:
#1 The African Elephant.
White rhinos are more frequently spotted in certain regions in the Kruger National Park than in other areas. On the 1st day of our vacation, we were fortunate to see a total of 24, the 1st one just after 7 in the morning, and later on, in the vicinity of Crocodile Bridge, a large group of 10 animals. During the rest of the day, every now and again another one would pop up.
White rhino's are normally very peaceful and well behaved and the most of the times, one can get more than enough opportunities to photograph them, unlike the black rhino that is rather temperamental. We rather appreciate them to stay far away, and just watch them from a distance. In the 3 weeks we where in the park, we only saw one black rhino, and that was on the 3rd last day of our holiday. It was walking through a river, quite far from where we were and therefore the photos I took are not good enough for a posting. I have included one as a "workshop". I think the ones Loot took are of much better quality.
Built like a battle tank, the white rhino-known as the square-lipped rhino is the second largest animal living on land, after the elephant. Yet despite its ugly awesomeness it is basic a placid creature, less irritable and more gregarious than its cousin, the black rhino. It is often found in groups of four to eight, led by a dominant bull.
A grazer, not a browser, it enjoys short grasses which, with its wide, flat mouth, it is able to crop almost to ground level. Its head is usually carried low.
In common with other rhino species, the white rhino has a penchant for mud baths. It's not simply a cosmetic indulgence: the mud traps ticks, and when it dries and falls off, the parasites are shed too.
The rhino's constant companions, the red-billed oxpecker and its rarer cousin, the yellow-billed oxpecker, also help to keep it free of ticks. In addition the birds are the rhino's portable alarm system, their hissing calls warning of approaching danger.
Like the black rhino, the white species is myopic, but makes up for the deficiency with an acute sense of smell and hearing (the ears can be rotated independently). Conversation consists of taciturn grunts and snarls as well as high-pitched squeals.
Males reach a weight between 2000-2300kg and females between 1400-1500kg.
Taken from: Animals of the Kruger Park and Lowveld - Heritage Publishing.
I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.