March 2018 has been a dark month for the Northern White Rhino specie, Kenya, conservationists all over the world and even worse for our clients who had booked safari with us and were looking forward to seeing the most eligible bachelor during their visit.
Sudan, the last surviving Northern White Rhino succumbed to old age-related complications that led to degenerative changes in muscles and bones combined with extensive skin wounds. Report says that his condition worsened within 24 hours, he couldn’t stand and was suffering a great deal. The veterinary team from the Dvůr Králové Zoo, Ol Pejeta and Kenya Wildlife Service made the decision to euthanize him.
He died on the 19th of March at Ol Pejeta conservancy at the age of 45 years. He lives behind 2 female Northern White Rhinos in the entire Planet; his daughter Najin and her daughter Fatu, who remains at Ol pejeta Conservancy.
Sudan has been with us in Kenya since 2009. He was brought from Dvůr Králové Zoo in Czech Republic together with one other male (died in 2014) and two other females.
How we got here is a story for another day. It however has a lot to do with the demand for Rhino horns in Chinese traditional medicine in Asia, and for dagger handle in Yemen (that’s just……) in the early 90s.
Well they say when one dies seven others are born; not so much for rhinos but the universe has made part of the former true. While the Northern White Specie are at the brim of extinction, another white rhino calve was received at Klein Karoo region in the Western Cape on 25th March. Exactly one week after Sudan’s demise. Our fingers are crossed hoping it is a male, as we now know the weight held by the male species. However this does not save the Northern White Rhino from extinction as previous attempts to get the White Rhino and The Northern White Rhino to mate has failed terribly. Either way, the birth of this cute one still brings hope to this globally endangered species.
That flamingos did a dance to choose their mates? I spend a lot of time thinking about this thrilling performance of nature,flamingo mating dance . On thing I fail to understand is how this helps them choose their mates from the crowds. But as the saying goes, “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”.
Males nod their heads popping them up and down rhythmically as if dancing to a melodies tune that they only can understand. It seems like each individual male is trying to outdo the other so as to attract attention of a ready female. Females watch from a distance, delighted in the display of the dance unfolding before them and at the same time looking for a suitable father for their nestling.
During this digital era, I can bet my heart that the males’ new move and their dancing styles couple with their light pink colors and bright eyes can make any female to fall in love. Females will also be on the forefront as they partake in similar methods of applying makeup even prettier in the eyes of the males. Once the females sport their mates, they swim next to the lucky male which heightens the performance. Dancing in circles as the pair form a bond and are ready to mate..
Oh, nature, you so crazy!
Flaming-o mating dance can happen once or twice in a year depending with the availability of food and rain. Once the ceremony is finished, pairs build nests about 30cms high to protect 9them from flooding and to keep them cool. A female will then lay a single chalk colored egg which both parents will incubate for 24hours in turns. The incubation period is between 28 – 31 days.
On hatching, a chick will join a creche of a thousand birds in about 6 days. They learn how to run in one week. In about 4 weeks, the young one grows fathers and learns how to fly in about 12 weeks. Flamingoes mature at the age of about 6 years. They can fly up to 60km per hour. They have been recorded to travel about 1540kms although will normally fly as far as the next lake.
Flamingoes are filter feeders. They have tiny bristles in their bills that they use to capture their pray from under water. The lesser flamingoes have the most and finest filaments in their bills. They move their pistons like tongue up to speed of about 20 times per second drawing water into their bills and pushing it backwards to the filaments.
A group of flamingoes is called a flamboyance or a stand or a colony.
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