Drastic situations call for drastic measures.
And for wild animals like white rhinos, never is this more true than at the end of a long hard dry season, when the grass cover is almost entirely reduced.
Ranger Guy Brunskill recently captured this footage of a white rhino breaking from its traditional diet:
One can clearly see the rhino eating wood chips that it had broken off from a dead log.
This type of behaviour, although not often seen, is not altogether unheard of in nature; many animals augment a deficiency in their diets by turning to alternative sources.
Giraffes eat bones for extra calcium, leopard tortoises nibble on hyena scat – also for calcium – and a number of species exhibit geophagia – the eating of dirt – to supplement minerals that may be lacking in their normal diet.
As we approach the end of the dry season and conditions become harsher and harsher, we may well be seeing more examples of this type of behaviour, and not just from rhinos.
Has anyone seen anything similar?