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  • Writer's pictureKirk

The Rhinoceros of Kruger National Park

Updated: May 11


I find the Rhinoceros to be the most impressive of the Big 5 animals simply because of the ruggedness and unique shape of their bodies. Like the elephant, they made me a little nervous to be close to, even in my rental car. They far outweighed and out muscled my compact car and I am sure they could easily flip it over if they desired.


However, they seemed such a peaceful creature I'm unsure why I was nervous. They never made any aggressive moves even though I had a close encounter with one as I posted here:

This post documented one crazy encounter I had with this amazing animal.


But most my encounters were from afar:





The Rhino likes to hang around water. Not only for drinking but to stay cool in the hot African sun. They can be found wallowing in mud also to stay cool and to keep the parasites and bugs off of them.



Rhino sitings in the park were special to me simply because they were not abundant. I would drive for most of the day in the park, starting from the early morning opening time, and I would be fortunate if I had two sitings. But maybe because I didn't always know where to look.






There are black and white Rhinos in the park, but good luck trying to identify them. That's because they are the same color! The terms black and white is in reference to the mouths. The wider (whiter) mouth of the white Rhino as opposed to the hooked mouth of the black. Really the color terms mean nothing at all in terms of actual color.


The Rhino is an herbivore so they can often be found grazing. It's amazing to me they get to be this size and strength without ample amounts of meaty protein in their diet. The adults can weigh in excess of 2,000 pounds. I wonder what they eat when they go on a diet? No keto for them!


Although some carnivorous animals are known to attack small Rhinos for food, by a large margin the biggest predator is man. Poachers are lured by the horn of this magnificent creature.


The horn is made of keratin, the same thing in your nails, but somehow there is a belief it has some strange medicinal purposes. Additionally, it is used to make daggers in some cultures. The appeal of this horn has been the source of the diminished numbers of these animals.


The Black Rhino is now considered to be critically endangered while the White species is merely threatened, there are an estimated only 3,000 Black Rhinos left on the planet while there are approximately 15,000 White Rhinos.


I feel quite fortunate to be among these incredible animals in their natural habitat. It is a humbling experience to see these majestic creatures up close in a personal experience.





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Mike Wells
Mike Wells
May 09
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Rhinos are a huge animal inside and weight. They appear to be just roaming and eating trying to stay cool . Lucky for you to get pictures and to get as close as you did

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Kirk
Kirk
May 09
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Yeh that close encounter was one of my best experiences in the park. Thanks for reading!

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