These were photos taken by Bill & Angela Fotheringham from Scotland. They were staying with us in February 2010.

They were very lucky to take the following photos of 2 bull Rhinos fighting. There guide was Texon and tracker Lots.

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Here is some interesting facts about Rhinos.
A Guide to the White Rhinoceros / Rhino - Ceratotherium simum of South Africa
Despite their names, both the black and white rhinoceroses are a dull grey. White Rhinos are square-lipped and are grazers Black rhinos have a hooked, prehensile upper lip and are browsers.

The White Rhinoceros name is derived from the Afrikaans word "weit", meaning wide, and its manner of feeding has adapted to grazing short grass with a mouth similar to that of the business end of a lawnmower. This animal, with its territorial behaviour and rather slow rate of breeding, make it a poor colonist, and it is very slow to expand its range. The head is elongated, and the horns are continuously growing: one horn in front, and a shorter one behind. The skin is thick, grey, and prominantly folded on the front of the shoulders and on the upper part of the hind limbs.

White rhinos require areas of short grass, water for drinking and in which to wallow, adequate bush cover, and relatively flat terrain. These conditions are usually met in wooded grasslands. They do not have incisor teeth and instead use their hard lips to crop grass. They drink regularly and are dependant on its availability.


Habits

White rhino occur in small groups consisting of a single dominant or territorial bull, subordinate bulls, cows and their offspring. Territorial bulls occupy clearly defined territories which they defend against other bulls: these territories often have natural features which form their boundaries, and sometimes have narrow common zones. Territories are marked by urine spraying and defecating along the boundaries, and although territorial males rarely fight and tend to avoid one another, they do indulge in trials of strength, which may include horn clashing, to settle disputes and confirm social position.

White rhino rest and feed alternatively for a few hours at a time, day and night, in cool weather. Rhinoceroses need to wallow and drink at least every two to four days and if the water in the vicinity has dried up, they will walk as far as 10 km (6 miles) from their home range to find it.

Whether walking, trotting or grazing, white rhinoceros keep their heads down in the same position and will only raise it when they become alarmed. They are able to maintain speeds of 40 km (25 miles) per hour over short distances and they are surprisingly agile; one apparently climbed a gate 2 metres (6 ft) high to escape from temporary captivity.

Horns

Horns are also used for digging and they do sometimes get torn off: if so they will regenerate. Rhino horn actually consists of very tightly compacted tubular filaments, which are very similar to hair, and is the cause of the near-extinction of the species, largely because it is considered an aphrodisiac by certain cultures.

Communication

Communication depends heavily on olfactory signals, such as the spraying of dung and urine to mark territories, as rhinos have a good sense of smell. Urine-spraying is restricted to the boundaries of territories, and is the principal indication of ownership. The sprays are emitted in two or three short bursts and a male patrolling his borders will produce such markers every five to six minutes. An intruder will become immediately aware that he has crossed a boundary and will be subject to confrontation by the proprietor of the territory.

Vocalisations are used for direct communication, and the white rhino makes a wide range of sounds. Territorial males are usually silent, occassionally snorting when another moves nearby. They also pant, as a sign to join up or to maintain contact, shriek to prevent attack, or puff when alarmed. Rhino calves squeal when they want protection.

In addition to vocalizations, rhinos communicate using a variety of signals via body language, such as a flattening of the ears as a warning, advancing, which in its most serious form is a full charge, as well as staring and horn-prodding. Side-rubbing may help cement bonds within the group. Head-flinging amongst the young is an invitation to play.

White rhino have poor sight but acute smell, and can rotate their ears independenly to locate sound. They respond readily to moving objects.

Reproduction

Females mature sexually at the age of around seven. After coming into oestrus, they will pass through male-held territories and spray urine, advertising their condition and inviting courtship from the dominant males. Mating takes place all year round and a female with a calf will come into oestrus six to eight months after giving birth.

Bulls can detect when a female is pro-oestrus, will actively prevent females from leaving their territories during this time, and will drive off any subordinate males that appear to show interest in the female.

Courtship takes between five and twenty days to complete, and is a slow and cautious ritual. Males have been reported to attack young calves who at six months or more, are distinctly possessive as they are still nursing and will continue to do so for at least another six months. Copulation takes between 30 to 35 minutes, several times a day. The gestation period of the white rhinoceros is 16 months and although twins have been seen, a single calf is the rule. The mother will spend a few days in solitude with her calf before the close presence of other rhino will be tolerated: during this time the calf is very unsteady on its feet. When the mother and calf move together, the calf usually walks in front: this is in contrast to the black rhino, where the calf walks behind its mother. The calf is weaned at about a year old, and separates from its mother when it is 2 or 3 years old.

Status

There was a rapid decline in numbers of the white rhino between the years 1872 and 1877 in southern Africa. No trace was found of the white rhino in the region of the Upper Chobe River in 1879, although a few were later found between the Umniati and the Hanyane Rivers, in what was then known as north eastern Mashuna Land, and is now western Zimbabwe. The White Rhinoceros was thought to be extinct in 1892, just 75 years after the explorer Burchell had discovered it. However, a few individuals had survived in the valley of the Umfolozi River in Natal. They were re-discovered in 1897 and the South African government went on to declare the valley a preserve, which later became joined as the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi game reserve: these, along with St Lucia, are therefore the oldest game reserves in Africa. The population increased steadily, and the first offical white rhino census in 1930 revealed that there were only 120 individuals in the Umfolozi Reserve, and 30 on adjacent ground: by 1960 the number had increased to 700.