Last Sunday we watched as two white rhino bulls battled it out for dominance in a fight so intense it attracted two younger rhino spectators. During the fight, they produced an amazing range of sounds, such as puffing, growling, hissing and squeaking which they made continuously. Even the spectators joined in making noises, which made me think that they too had a vested interest in the outcome of the battle. Perhaps they were related to one of the bulls? Or, could they sense the ousting of one of them being a possible benefit?

Through the dust cloud, it was not always possible to see who, if anyone, was getting the upper hand. However, what was clear is that both the rhino had made a clear decision to take each other head on! There was nothing half-hearted about this fight. It appeared the battle had started some time before we arrived on the scene. I could see blood oozing from stab wounds on both their heads. At one point, the one of them started to push the other closer and closer to our Land Rover in an apparent tactic to corner his opponent. After ten minutes, the battle moved into a thicket on the edge of a drainage line in which we thought was not safe to enter since manoeuvring a Land Rover in there would have been tricky. I did not wish to be trapped in a thicket with four tonnes of angry pachyderms flinging each other around. Slowly they moved down the slope, and the last thing I saw was a tree disappearing as it was flattened by one of the hostiles.

Below is a video clip I filmed of the territorial rhinos fighting for dominance. 

MudSplash

A young male rhino revels in a mud wallow near the Maxabene. Mostly seen placidly grazing their way through the day, white rhinos can provide the most wonderful and entertaining viewing when you least expect it. Photograph by: James Tyrrell.

We will be seeing many more mud-covered White Rhinos like this one; he was freshly emerged from the aptly named Winnis' Wallow.

A white rhino seen after enjoying a mud bath. Photograph by: James Tyrrell.

Rhino calves are scarcely as big as a medium sized warthogs for the first few months of their lives. This one, with barely a hint of a horn, was the smallest I have seen in a long time.

Rhino calves are scarcely as big as a medium sized warthogs for the first few months of their lives. This one, with barely a hint of a horn, was the smallest I have seen in a long time. Photograph by: James Tyrrell.

A territorial white rhino bull pauses on his approach to a mud wallow to see what we are. Rhinos are not blessed with great eyesight, and it is almost comical to see them sometimes as they approach a vehicle, suddenly realize it is there, snort and spin around in a puff of dust while they try and work out how this thing snuck up in them!

A territorial white rhino bull pauses on his approach to a mud wallow to see what we are. Rhinos are not blessed with great eyesight, and it is almost comical to see them sometimes as they approach a vehicle, suddenly realize it is there, snort and spin around in a puff of dust while they try and work out how this thing snuck up in them! Photograph by: James Tyrrell

Filmed and written by: Alex van den Heever

Filed under Wildlife

7 Comments

on A Battle Between the Horns
    marinda drake says:

    Wow! Amazing sighting. Awesome video

    Kate Collins says:

    Incredible. What great action, thanks for sharing Alex.

    richlaburn says:

    Great sighting and footage Alex, well done for capturing.

    Arden A. Zalman says:

    You made my day. I love rhinos & to see them is a thrill. Thank you so much.

    Wendy0210 says:

    Thank you Alex that was amazing! We all know that is why they HAVE to have their horns & not MAN! The rest of your write up is good too. Thanks James for your pictures. Enjoy your Sunday

    Jill Grady says:

    Great pictures and amazing video Alex! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Jenifer Collins Westphal says:

    After reading so many horror stories of the numbers of these beautiful animals who are being hunted almost to extinction, it so refreshing to see these particular animals alive and well. Thank you for sharing!

Join the conversationLeave a reply below

Your email will be kept private.

Connect with Londolozi

Follow Us

facebook
twitter
google
youtube
pinterest

Sign up for our newsletter

Send this to friend