Every animal seen on a safari is special, however when one comes across a black rhino you should take a moment to appreciate its grandeur. Its presence is overwhelming and has the tendency to inspire, leaving you with a feeling of awe. Black rhinos measure up to 6 feet at the shoulder and 12 feet in length, weighing up to 2.5 tons – a formidable beast indeed! They are considered critically endangered with around 5000 left in the world, populations have been decimated due to poaching inspired by the demand for rhino horn, which by the by, is now more valuable by weight than gold. Population numbers bottomed out in the mid 90’s at around 2500 individuals, the good news is conservation efforts have resulted in a more than doubling of the population.
Although they are referred to as black you will notice that colour varies from brown to grey. Two horns are apparent, are made of keratin (the same stuff in your nails) and grow to a length of 150 cm. Its lip is prehensile and hooked which allows it to browse on juicy leaves, different to the white rhino which has a square lip and is a grazer. A good thing to know is that they are virtually blind, so when faced by a charging rhino simply step out of the way and it will run right past you, perhaps slipping on the puddle you left in your footsteps….. They are characteristically very aggressive and have been seen randomly attacking trees and termite mounds – so blind and definitely not among the smartest in the savannah. Some scientists estimate that 50% of males and 30% of females die in intraspecies combat.
Guests of ours saw 8 of these magnificent creature on a safari, including a mother and calf, so the sooner you get here the better. Looking forward to seeing ya’ll and sharing the great splendours of the Serengeti!