January 19, 2008
It was five degrees above zero yesterday morning as I walked to the back
of the Zoo to do my docent shift with the white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum).
It was much too cold for Jasiri (shown above) and Tamba (shown below)
to be outdoors, so I had two hours to observe them passing the time by
sleeping on their feet, lying on their briskets, sniffing around their stalls,
banging their toys, eating and drinking, and watching constantly
with their ears rather than their eyes (rhinos have keen hearing and smell,
but poor vision).
In this picture, Jasiri was listening to me as I sang to him. I couldn’t tell
if he liked it or not.
I got several good shots of Tamba eating his hay. This photo illustrates the
characteristic for which the white rhino is named: "White" is a distortion of the
Dutch "weit" meaning "wide," and the word refers to the very wide lips of this
animal, suited to cropping efficiently at the grasses and low-growing plants they favor.