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Rhino Rodeo

Sunday, January 30, 2011

We're at the rhino barn at The Wilds near Cumberland, Ohio.
Three-month old southern white rhino Anan wanted to show how sporty she is, how fast she accelerates.

Anan moves out at a smart trot. Rhino feet are so soft and springy they look like they're wearing bedroom slippers full of Flubber.

If the 40 degree weather bothered them, they didn't show it. They seemed to love the sun.

When I visited South Africa in August, it dropped into the 20's each night. Yes, it gets cold there! But their winter quarters at The Wilds are well-lit and very warm. 

I couldn't get enough of this little rhino child.

I did let myself think about what might happen if I got between a wild mother rhino and her child.

You wouldn't want to do that. Mother Zenzele, not to be outdone by her charming child, banked sharply and charged right at us, obviously enjoying the way we all leapt back as she swerved at the last minute. "This," one of the keepers said, "is why we keep them behind four-inch steel bars."

I marvel each time I visit The Wilds that here in southeast Ohio, not even an hour from my home, endangered animals are being wonderfully cared for, multiplying

acting as insurance for wild populations, reservoirs of precious genetic material

the most precious coin of conservation's realm. 


Great action shots! They really do look as rodeo pictures of horses would - very nimble and quick.
And adorable. I hope I can get to The Wilds next summer.

Yes, but can she do a sliding stop? :) Sounds like mom sure can! These photos are wonderful, thank you for sharing. I think I would have been seized by the urge to draw them (when stationary)--all those lovely curves!

Is it odd to want to hug a baby Rhino? I don't think so.

I just returned from a week in Guatamela and heard about your father in law. I wanted to say how sorry I am and that I am praying for your family. I thought of you often while I was away. All of my work was inside with children suffering from malnutrition so I didn't get outside to see the wildlife. But, I could hear birds through the open windows and wished the Science Chimp were with me to tell me what they were.

I would not expect a rhino to be so quick, but then a mother protecting her young can do the most amazing things! I don't think she was specifically scaring you away from the fence as much as she was teaching her little one how to intimidate you! A great learning experience for all!

That last photo of Mom and Baby deserves to be enlarged and printed -- I'd buy one!

I enjoyed your photographs and "running" commentary so much. You brightened an otherwise gloomy day, and I appreciate that more than you know. My spouse and I make at least one trip to the Wilds each summer - if you have not spent the night in their new "luxury yurts," you should make it a priority!

Posted by Rhino Watcher February 1, 2011 at 8:09 AM
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