During a trip up to the bush some three weeks ago we witnessed a vicious fight between two Rhino.
We had just sighted Rhino in the bush and on stopping saw that there were 4 Rhino one of which was a calf. Suddenly another Rhino appeared out of the bush, large and very clearly a male. He moved closer to the other Rhinos and one by one they moved away leaving just the male and one other – this was a female and seemed to be the mother of the calf.
She steadfastly stood her ground despite constant manoeuvring of the large male. It is not clear what the intentions of the male were as both Rhinos stood head to head making a bellowing sound
Suddenly the male made a charge and the female turned, it is not clear what she was doing either. Then the male started using his horn and started attempting to dig into the female. He managed to gore her under the front right leg and the back rear leg. It appeared as if he wanted to lift her off the ground and get her to fall on her side.
The female put up a very ferocious defence and seemingly refused to succumb. All during this altercation she seemed to squeal (the noise she made was very high pitched and quite different to the bellowing sound they made before)
This continued for about ten minutes when all of a sudden the female had a very sudden change of attitude. Her stance changed dramatically from one of defence to one of attack – and the male’s attempts at goring her stopped – they once again stood head to head bellowing.
At this time we were able to see some of the damaged caused, the female was bleeding from the hind leg, and more so from the wound under her front leg. She had some facial wounds (see pic) The male also had some wounds but he moved behing bushes so it was not clear where he had been wounded
The female appeared to want to move off on her own but the male followed constantly. It is not clear if the male wanted to subdue the female so that he could mate with the female or whether there were other reasons for the fight. Subsequent questions to rangers did not get us any answers either.
Despite her wounds the female did not seem to be to hampered and we saw her two days later with her calf – no male to be seen