I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rhino



Pop quiz: There are two species of rhinoceros in Africa, white rhinos and black rhinos. Which one is this?

You might think that this is a trick question, as this animal, while unquestionably a rhinoceros, is kind of a grayish-brown. Both white and black rhinos are highly endangered, extinct in many areas of Africa where they used to be abundant, so there's no clue there. "White" in the species name was actually a mistranslation from the Afrikaans for "wide," referring to the shape of the rhino's lips -- white rhinos and black rhinos are actually the same color.

Give up? This is a black rhino, part of a program in the game reserve to try to repopulate the species in a protected area. (The horns have been surgically removed to make them less attractive to poachers.)
Early in the morning the gamekeepers put out pellets of grain and molasses, and the notoriously grumpy animals line up to get their sugar highs. The handlers are able to get pretty close to the animals while they're putting out the treats, but "rhinos have no loyalty" and they wouldn't hesitate to attack if they ran into the handlers away from the treat trough.

I think the lesson here is to always carry candy.




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