Rhinoceros resort, restore, restart

Extirpated from the wild in most of Africa,  I had the good fortune to see black rhinoceroses on a private preserve in Zimbabwe last year.

Finding them after dark, a spotlight illuminated a calf scampering about behind its placidly eating mother. Her horns were cut off to deter poaching and the animals are under 24-hour armed guard.

The black rhino population dropped from an estimate of several hundred thousand in the early 1900s to 2,410 by the late 1990s. The primary cause for this decline is poaching. Several subspecies are extinct.

These photos are fuzzy and full of nighttime darkness and shadows. At first, I was disappointed by them. A year later, they seem to appropriately suit their state in the world.

rhino calf
Wary of the light and strangers, a rhino calf hides behind its mother.
rhinocerous
The mama rhino has been dehorned as a measure of protection against poaching. Her dehorned shadow is visible on her calf’s side as it moves behind her.
rhinoceros back
Rhino back, fade to black. What will the world be without rhinos?

One thought on “Rhinoceros resort, restore, restart”

  1. Sad love for these, the pictures and the creatures.
    Soft beauty. I’ve always wondered what their warm skin feels like.

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