As I mentioned yesterday, this is our fourth visit to Chitwan and I’ve been lucky enough to go on an elephant ride the past three times. We didn’t plan on going on one again, but the very kind staff at the Nepali Center for Nature Conservation invited us over for tea and an elephant ride. While we were taking a look at their facility, something came running up to us….
It was an eight month old baby rhino. She had been badly injured after a tiger attack and the staff were taking care of her. She had suffered injury to her back leg, losing the pad to her foot and was recovering from an operation to repair the damage. Its a great facility for her to safely wander around while she recovers.
Charmed by our new friend, we set off to ride an elephant for an hour into the park. You never know what you’re going to see, although this is not Africa and there isn’t an abundance of wildlife roaming in packs. I go for the pleasure of the ride and the early morning peace of the park. If we see something, its a bonus.
After a little while we spotted a rhino sleeping under a tree. Elephants and rhinos get on fine, and a sleeping rhino often won’t move when an elephant walks by. This one stood up and gave us “the eye.”
Then we found out why. She wasn’t alone.
Amazingly our rhino experiences didn’t stop there. A couple of days later, I headed out birdwatching with a guide. He asked me if I would like to see a rhino and took me to a spot down by the river. In a muddy ditch sat an old curmudgeon-like rhino who gave us an impatient snarl. The guide said he was too old and weak to go into the jungle as younger rhinos would attack him. So even often hangs out in the ditch for a bit of peace and quiet, if you can call taking photos from tourists peaceful.