The two Black Rhino that were brought back to their home country from England and released into the re-habituation boma at Singita Grumeti Reserves were observed mating! Guests that had visited us in the past were here for the happy occasion, and were able to view the extended session. Courting and mating takes a long time and once they start mating the male will remain on the female for as long as forty to fifty minutes. Lifting his bulk onto the female is quite an effort so once he has mounted her he tends to stay mounted until they have completed the act. Black Rhino are endangered and there are very few of them in the wild today. The largest population is in South Africa but here at Grumeti Reserves we have a program in place that is designed to return them to their natural habitat.
This month I witnessed how predators are so incredibly good at assessing a situation, weighing up the potential benefits of a hunt and analysing the potential costs or risks at the same time.
We set off under the cover of darkness in the early morning and on to one of my favourite drainage lines to look for lions. As it began to get light I caught site of the Butamtam lionesses and their youngsters. We gently approached the lionesses and then switched the engine off and watched. One of the more mature lionesses, the daughter of ‘Mama Scar’, was busy nursing her five youngsters. This is interesting as lionesses only possess four teats.
I was out one morning looking for elephants as my guests were still hoping for further interaction with these special creatures. What we came across that day, we could not have prepared for – it was simply magical.