Viewing the Indian rhinos - elephant safari style

Friday, 25 December 2015

The Great One Horned Rhino (or Indian Rhino) is found in India. One of the best places to view these odd creatures is at the Kaziranga National Park in Eastern India. One morning we went on elephant back to get close to them and take photos. We were up at 4:30 a.m. and at the park by 5:30.

This was the first time I've ever ridden an elephant and we had to straddle their backs. It wasn't that comfortable but the ride is only for an hour and worth it in order to get close to the rhinos. (I do have some ethical concerns about keeping elephants in captivity. In the future, I don't think I'll ride an elephant but I guess you live and learn.)

The rhinos are pretty shy but not afraid of humans on elephant back. The elephants are comfortable around them as well and we were able to sit nearby and take pictures of a female and her baby as well as others. They are interesting to watch because they look so prehistoric! 

Rhinos use "communal toilets" and defecate in the same place often. Out of these piles of poo grow Rhino Dung Flowers or Spider Flowers. The species is invasive in India and the rhinos spread the seeds by eating them and passing them on. (So pretty but strange!)

The early morning elephant safari was peaceful and interesting. I enjoyed the opportunity to get close to the rhinos, water buffalo, and swamp deer. 

I've included a short video of clips I took of the one-horned rhino. They move like tanks! 

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