Cute Rhino Calf Chasing Egyption Geese in the Wild Kruger


Feb 2 2016

Mention the word 'rhino', and it is likely to stir up some kind of angry emotion in the recipient regarding the threats that they are vulnerable to. I for one am bitter regarding the fate of many of them, and have often thought, if only we could send them all off to some secret location. But Simone Swiel, a Latest Sightings Community member (Latest Sightings is the world’s largest wildlife crowdsourcing site app iPhone & iPad app / Android app and has revolutionised real-time game viewing for people on safari.) who uses the app recently changed my outlook with her Film & Earn Partnership video taken in the Kruger National Park, of a white rhino calf. Since Latest Sightings doesn’t report rhino sightings I won’t mention this one’s location. But you can download the app, and use it to not report sightings of them, but rather to report any suspicious behaviour that you may come across. 
 
Simone says, “Due to the terrible drought currently being experienced in the Kruger the only water sources for many animals are the larger rivers. And being late in the afternoon many animals come down to the water for a drink. It was the 2nd of January at approximately 5pm and we kept our eyes peeled. That is when we spotted an adult rhino meandering down towards the water, and with her baby.” It didn’t take the calf long to begin its own exploration, and it is in that moment that the calf reminds me that rhinos too, are getting on with their wildlife antics, oblivious to the poaching crisis which they face!
 
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“The calf was so playful and was an absolute delight to watch. Everyone around us was laughing and enjoying the antics of this young animal chasing birds,” continues Simone. Like most calves they are curious by nature, and the investigation of these birds is part of their learning curve. Both white and black rhinos are mostly encountered in small clusters called a crash. Females mostly live alone with their young, although they are often found keeping company with other females. And more often than not young adults will group together after the arrival of a new calf.  
 
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It is not uncommon to find rhinos near water and they are prone to drink daily should sources be available to them. Also not uncommon is to see rhinos wallowing in muddy water, especially in hot summer months. The mud tends to keep them cool in addition to the dried mud protecting their skin from direct sunlight. 
 
Although a joyful sighting, Simone says, “It certainly did cross my mind that the future of these magnificent animals is in jeopardy due to the rhino poaching crisis. But hopefully more people across the globe will be made aware of what is happening to rhino populations around the world due to human greed.” I agree that it is not about hiding the crisis under a rock, but bringing it into the open and educating the nations at grassroot levels. 
 
Nadav Ossendryver, founder of Latest Sightings agrees with the approach of educating! Towards the end of last year he was one of the wildlife champions & young rhino ambassadors from South Africa who headed to Vietnam for this very purpose. With the right education we can create a generation of environmental and conservation conscious citizens. Nadav also through Latest Sightings urges people to use social media in order to curb the problem of poaching so our baby rhinos can continue to enjoy their environment. 
 
Video and commentary by Simone Swiel
Written by Tracy Burrows

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