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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Chasing the Rarest Rhino

February 10th, 2009 · No Comments

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Even years ago when I lived in Africa I was a dedicated amateur photographer. So dedicated, in fact, that I would hike miles through the bush to capture images of wildlife.

Once when I was on vacation in Uganda I heard that some of the world’s biggest and rarest rhinos were in a nearby game preserve. These Northern White Rhinoceros are, after the elephant, the most massive land animals in the world. They reach a weight of 6,000 pounds! They were pretty rare then and are even rarer now — only eight captive Northern White Rhinoceros are left in the world.

I had the opportunity to see one in the wild and took it. I hired a Land Rover and driver, and we got a glimpse of one. But as our vehicle crashed though the bush, the rhino heard us and kept on moving a safe distance away from us.

The only recourse was for me to leave the Land Rover and proceed on foot with my camera in the rhino’s direction as stealthily as possible. Finally, the bush cleared and I got this view:

A Northern White Rhino

A Northern White Rhino

Don’t be as surprised as I was that the rhino isn’t actually white. That term as applied to this huge animal is a corruption of the Afrikaans word “wyd,” which means wide in English.

Rhinos don’t have a good eyesight. Fortunately, this one and her little baby either didn’t see me or just decided to go the other way.

Moma and Baby White Rhinos

Moma and Baby White Rhinos

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Posted in: Africa, Hiking

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