Two types of rhino typically abound in the African bush, the white rhino and the black rhino. The distinction between the two lies mainly in their feeding habits. The white rhino are grazers; the black rhino, with their hooked lips, are browsers. Both teeter on the verge of extinction, particularly the black rhino, due largely to an explosion in illegal rhino poaching in pursuit of the animal’s horn. The horn is largely made up of keratin and utterly useless for the mythological purposes that are purported. In an attempt to impede poaching, many rhinos have been dehorned; but sadly this affects their behaviour and can cause them to become more aggressive.
Rhinos have particularly poor sight, but a strong sense of smell and hearing, and may thus attack if they feel threatened – their charges are notoriously violent and these creatures are considered one of the most dangerous animals in the bush. When attacking, rhinos will lower their heads, snort and start charging in order to run through the threat with its deadly horn. Female rhinos will stress when they give birth, becoming very aggressive and attacking anything that comes close to them. Rhinos can live for up to 45 years and females will generally only give birth to one calf in her lifetime.
One of the most famous relationships in the bush is that of the symbiotic one between rhino and oxpeckers. The birds will feed on ticks they find on the rhino, while acting as a “guard”, nosily making the rhino aware of any danger.
Inverdoorn is home to five rhinos: two females, one male and two calves.