Shida becomes more independent

Shida features prominently in this month’s Keepers Diary, for he has taken to frequently and escaping from, and deliberately evading, his Keepers, having obviously decided that he is now sufficiently confident on his own to qualify as a“wild” and solitary rhino, having been walked around the dungpiles and urinals of the wild rhino inhabitants of the area for the past three years

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Shida features prominently in this month’s Keepers Diary, for he has taken to frequently and escaping from, and deliberately evading, his Keepers, having obviously decided that he is now sufficiently confident on his own to qualify as a“wild” and solitary rhino, having been walked around the dungpiles and urinals of the wild rhino inhabitants of the area for the past three years. He has befriended a family of warthogs who are always in the vicinity of the Stockades to enjoy any left-overs from the Staff Canteen and who also usually join him out in the bush to benefit from the protection of him and his Keepers. Shida enjoys playing with them, challenging them to a butting bout, where he is always the victor, and even lying down to allow them to clamber all over him pulling ticks off his body. (Rhinos are very sensuous animals, and any rubbing or scratching of their body prompts them to collapse in a blissful stupor! He often also enjoys chasing the giraffe around, or, in fact, any other animal that will run from him, but wary of the resident buffalo bulls! On many occasions this month he has been absent all day, turning up unattended at the mudbath at unexpected times, and bringing himself back to his Night Stockade long after dark. When he returned at 10 p.m. on the night of the 31st, he was accompanied by another adult wild rhino friend, who lacked the confidence to actually enter the Stockade with him, but was seen by the Keepers who were with Kora and Lualeni in their Night Stockade. It is very gratifying to know that Shida has an adult wild rhino friend, and that his reintegration back into the wild community has been successfully accomplished. This is always a challenge when hand-rearing the orphaned rhinos.