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Oops, but I don't like photographers

Oops, but I don't like photographers
Photo Information
Copyright: AC van Dyk (Dyker) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-12-01
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon 300D, Sigma 70-300 DG Macro
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/400 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Ithala Game Reserve 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-12-01 20:55
Viewed: 8598
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
White rhino
Ceratotherium simum

I have lived so close to the Ithala Game Reserve (±41km) for so many years that it is a real shame I've never visited it before. Finally I had a Saturday free for myself and off I went to experience the great out-doors. I was pleasantly surprised by the rich diversity in geology, ecosystems, and fauna & flora found in the park. If you want to see white rhinos, the Ithala Game reserve is the place to be.

This magnificent reserve, tumbling from the heights of the Ngotshe Mountains a 1 000m down into a deep valley, carved over the eons by the Phongolo River revealing the world's oldest rock formations, is a game viewers paradise.

Situated in the rugged, mountainous thornveld of northern KwaZulu-Natal, Ithala Game Reserve's multitude of habitats host a spectacular array of wildlife species. Its scenic beauty aside, Ithala's most characteristic feature is perhaps its astonishing geological diversity. Some of the oldest rock formations in the world are found here, dating back 3 000 million years.

With a topographic profile varying from 400m above sea level in the north to 1 450m near Louwsberg in the south, Ithala's terrain extends over lowveld and densely vegetated riverine valleys to high-lying grassland plateaus, ridges and cliff faces.

The area has been occupied by man for thousands of years and there are many sites littered with stone age spear and axe heads dating back some 20 000 years. SA Places

Classification: Chordata - Mammalia – Perissodactyla – Rhinocerotidae.

Identification: White rhinos have almost no hair. They are larger than the black rhino, and have a squared (not pointed) upper lip, a longer skull with less sharply defined forehead, and a more pronounced shoulder hump. White rhinos have two horns, the front one averaging 60cm long, but occasionally reaching 150 cm.

Size: Shoulder height 150-185cm. Females weigh about 1,400-1,700kg and males 2,000-3,600kg.

Behaviour: The white rhino tends to avoid the heat during the day, during which it rests in the shade. It is therefore usually active early mornings, late afternoon and during the evening.

During peaks of heat, the rhino cools and rids itself of ectoparasites (external parasites) by bathing in mud in shallow pools. Adult males can spend almost their entire life in these areas, unless water is unavailable, in which case they follow a narrow corridor to a drinking site every 3-4 days.

Distribution: Central and Southern Africa. I.e. Botswana (re-introduced), Cote d’Ivoire (introduced), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya (introduced), Namibia (re-introduced), South Africa (the largest population through a breeding program that saved the species from extinction), Swaziland (re-introduced), Zambia (introduced), Zimbabwe (re-introduced).

Habitat: Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas and Shrublands.

Status: Near Threatened to Critically Endangered.

Population: Around 14,538.

General information: Two living subspecies of white rhino are recognised: the northern white rhino, and the southern white rhino. Recent studies have confirmed that the two subspecies are genetically distinct.

Only 4 northern white rhinos remain, all of them in the Garamba National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo. Efforts to protect them have been severely disrupted because of the ongoing civil war and incursions by poachers coming mainly from Sudan. Thanks to the dedication of park staff through years of armed conflict in the region, this Critically Endangered subspecies still survives, but for how much longer?

In contrast, the southern white rhino is one of conservation's greatest success stories. Thought to be extinct in the late 19th century, in 1895 a small population of less than 100 was discovered in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. After more than a century of protection and management, southern white rhinos are now the only non-endangered rhinos, being classified as Near Threatened.

Next to the elephant, the white rhino is the largest land mammal. Its two horns are positioned one behind the other and its thick hide is relatively smooth and light in colour. It is not, however, white. The young are quite hairy, but adults are hairless except for their ear rims, tail tip, and eyelashes. As with other rhinos, the white rhino has poor vision but a keen sense of smell.

The white rhino is more placid and sociable than other species, often forming into small groups. So large and powerful are these animals they must give way only to the elephant; nevertheless, their young sometimes fall victim to lions. The major threat to their existence, however, has been from man who, over the years, has slaughtered them by the thousands, sometimes to make way for civilisation, and in other cases, in the mistaken belief that their horns possessed the power of an aphrodisiac. In Asia the rhinoceros is close to total extinction. WWF

Scott, vanderschelden, loot, Rehanna, Adanac, ramthakur, gpeler, Shoot_Score, Janice has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Shoot_Score: Daar gaat die poepDyker 1 07-31 03:21
To Tobias__Ortmann: Thank youDyker 1 06-23 06:53
To ramthakur: Suitable captionDyker 1 06-23 06:49
To loot: U're so discreetDyker 1 12-11 04:59
To vanderschelden: Earthquakes hey...?Dyker 1 12-02 09:37
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Scott Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 225 W: 0 N: 356] (1752)
  • [2007-12-01 22:57]


Lekker, what a moment as well.


These droppings are really generating little earthquakes when hitting the ground...:-)
How many km2 is Ithala? Can you do a self drive?

excellent sharpness, well composed with birds on the rhino, well done

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2007-12-10 8:41]
  • [2] [+]


Ha-ha-ha. There's a very nosey little red-billed oxpecker keeping a rather close birds-eye-view on the development of this rhino's perceived sentiment towards photographers.

You've captured a lovely natural moment showing us two activities that these rhinos perform on a daily basis – feeding and recycling (chuckle). The soft focus in the BG ensures that ones eyes remain locked on the very sharp subjects. The colours are well saturated while still maintaining the natural look and the composition is well balanced.

Great work and TFS.

PS. As a matter of interest, we also visited Itala just recently (16-18 November) and thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. What fabulous mountainous landscapes and diversity in animal life. A wonderful destination and it is definitively worth it to be recommended and promoted to potential visitors.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-12-11 7:42]

Great shot, AC!
I don't object to the timing at all and seeing these White Rhinos like this is a reminder of two things: firstly that they fertilse the soil and provide sustainance for burying beetles and secondly that they provide living space for parasites and their predators (Oxpeckers) You might say that this is full of action!
Technically a first class shot with good lighting, sharpness and composition.
Well done and thanks,

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-02-01 21:34]

Hello AC,
Well what goes in must come out, great image with sharp and colorful details a
on all the action. Thank you AC for the great work.

Hi ac,
wow wow wow
these threw word describes perfect your picture
when I saw a rhino it was not so close like this and alone
great picture
Ißm wondering why it doesn´t get more points
you will find at my favorites
well done

Hello AC,
This is my first glimpse into your work as a nature photographer and I assure you I'm thrilled and also immensely amused to see your latest image of these giants (one of them in the act of inducing you to think about the most suitable caption for this picture) being literally taken for a ride by three little birds!
Whereas the picture is just perfect in technical terms, I am also impressed by the theme it depicts (by that I don't mean only what your caption suggests) -- the life-style of White Rhinos in your nature rich country when they graze around like the rest of herbivores and offer eco-systems on their vast bodies to the birds to sustain on.
The picture is so sharp I can even identify specific points of the eco-systems I just mentioned!
A super image that has already persuaded me to dig deeper into your wonderful portfolio.
I thank you for this picture and for reminding me of the things I ought to have done on time.

Hi AC,
This is the funniest photo I have ever seen. But very nice composition and sharpness. TFS. Congratulations.
Best Regards

Oep! Daar gaat die poep!

But the finest moment is that fact that U caught the eye of the sidekick perpectly in that "opening". [ No on the other side! ]

Great PoV! Well timed!



  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-08-31 1:05]

He showing you what he thinks of you, AC!!
Funny shot, but it's a good composition showing us the 2 rhinos and the birds, their constant companions
Well done

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