Two Black Rhinoceros are accompanied by a little friend, a Red Beaked Oxpecker, in the grasslands of Kenya. As rhinos go, these are quite shy and just getting a glimpse of them in the wild is a privilege. It was a thrill to see these two!

The “Black” subspecies of Rhino is identified by its prehensile lip that can articulate like a finger for feeding on shrubs and grasses. (In contrast, White Rhinos are mostly grass grazers and have a squared unarticulated lip.) The terms, “Black” and “White”, have nothing to do with their coloration.

Disclosure – These animals are highly endangered, and much is being done to preserve their habitat and eliminate poaching. To that end, they are marked so that they can be identified and monitored from a long distance with binoculars or a spotting scope. I’m not in favor of changing the appearance of wildlife in my photographs but in this case, I have done so (for my own aesthetic reasons) by removing those markings. I wanted this posted image to simply represent the natural beauty and uniqueness of the animal without the man-made identifications. Regarding the individual on the right, one ear was marked with a circular hole and the other ear had a triangular notch taken out of it. I have retained the original image in case I decide to change the narrative and share the unedited version.

All Photographs © 2021 John Grusd Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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