November 19, 2010
Don’t let the name fool you, rhinos are grey in color, not black or white as their names suggest. Both species are found in sub-Saharan Africa and look similar to one another, but the major difference is the shape of their mouths.
Black rhinos developed a pointed lip which they use to pick fruit from branches and select leaves from twigs; white rhinos have a flat, wide lip to graze on grasses. So why call them white or black? In Afrikaans and in English – “weid” or “wide” lipped rhino was mistakenly understood to be white rhino.
Although they are nearing extinction, our safari guests often spot black rhinos in Ngorongoro Crater or the Serengeti.
Rhinos have been making the headlines recently. The sad fact is that these endangered mammals are still being poached for their horns – as recently as this week, the bodies of 18 rhinos were found in South Africa and Mozambique. Efforts to save the rhinos from extinction still forge on however.
Last summer, in a massive conservation effort, five black rhinos were flown in to Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Before they were released into the wild, Thomson Safaris by way of a very special invitation, had the honor to visit – and even feed – these rhinos! Be sure to read about it in our recent newsletter, Notes from the Field.
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