Most people who go on safaris have the Big 5 top most in their minds…..they are impressive creatures afterall, but I hope that after spending some time on our website you come away with an appreciation of nature in general…..of the little creatures and how all animals and plants contribute to their environments and are equally important parts of it.

 Lion Button 200px  Leopard Button 200px  Elephant Button 200px  Buffalo Button 200px  Rhino Button 200px


Lions (Panthera leo)

Lion Height

Description: Males weigh 190kgs (420lbs) and are 1.2m (4’) at the shoulder. Females weigh 120kgs (265lbs) with a height of 1.1m (3’8”) at the shoulder…..they are impressive animals, second only in size to the Tiger. As Tigers don’t occur naturally in Southern Africa the lion is an Apex predator…at the top of the food chain. Besides being larger than females, they also have a mane of thick hair on their necks and shoulders. This makes the animal appear larger to other lions and serves as protection from racking claws when lions fight each other.

Prey: Lions prey on small to large mammals (and even elephants), birds, fish, reptiles, insects and carrion. Common prey species include zebra, wildebeest, impala, giraffe, wathog and kudu.

Lifespan: Wild lions may live for 10 – 14 years with the females living longer than males. Male lions are killed or die at about 10 years old.


Male in his prime along Sabi river, Kruger Park

Social Structure: Lions are sociable and live in prides. A territory is held by a dominant male or coalition of males and that territory overlaps with a number of mutually exclusive female territories. The coalition of males means they are stronger and able to protect more females in their territory. Often, but not always, these coalitions are made up of lion brothers in which case the added advantage is the perpetuity of genes from their common bloodline.

The male’s role is to protect the pride from invading lions and hyenas. It’s all about his bloodline and a male lion will fight to the death to ensure his progeny and pride carry on his line. Invading males are known to kill the offspring of other males. This is done to bring the females into heat so they may mate and produce offspring of their own. The females will only come into heat if the new males have established themselves so as not to waste energy should those new males be ousted.

Portrait of a future king

Hunting and Cubs: Female lions do most of the hunting and raising the cubs, often the males are patrolling their territory and aren’t overly devoted dads. Lions are co-operative hunters and females and older cubs will work together to secure a meal which is somewhat shared between pride members. Males will dominate a kill sometimes to the exclusion of females and their own cubs. Males do help to bring down larger prey such as buffalo or giraffe. On their own, males are very capable hunters.

Lion Pride

Vocalisations: Lions have a special voice box structure that allows their roar to be heard up to 7kms away in the right conditions. Roaring is mostly done at might when lions are more active. These vocalisations communicate territory or other messages and other lions may react to them if appropriate. If you are on safari and are lucky enough to be close to a lion roaring it’s an experience you wont forget….the volume and power will send shivers down your spine. Lions also growl, snarl and purr and cubs meow.

You can click or scroll through the slides below for more images and information

A pair of mating lions. Lions may mate up to 100 times a day for a number of days, usually between 3 and 5 days. There is no particular breeding season so mating may occur at any time of the year. During mating the pair even lose interest in hunting and feeding.
Lioness in Tree opposite Ngwenya Hide
Lions are able to climb trees but are not as naturally skilled as leopards. Younger, less heavy lions may attempt to steal a leopards prey from a tree but often without success.
Lioness in Tree opposite Ngwenya Hide
White under lions eye
Lions, like most cats, have a distinct white stripe below the eye. This reflects additional available light into the eye giving them excellent vision, particularly at night.
White under lions eye
Male Lion with loose canine tooth
This male has a broken canine tooth, probably as a result of a kick to the face. Wild animals live in a dangerous environment and injury is part of their lives. This injury shouldnt affect the lion too much as long as he doesnt pick up an infection in the mouth which would then affect his ability to feed.
Male Lion with loose canine tooth
Male lion under the bushes keeping an eye on potential prey
See the male lion under the bushes in the distance? He walked past the man made waterhole and settled under the tree...only then did the impala and zebra come to drink, always keeping an eye on the lion.
Male lion under the bushes keeping an eye on potential prey
Male Lion
Male lion in his prime and well fed.
Male Lion
Male in his prime along Sabi river, Kruger Park
A large male along the Sabi river, Kruger Park.
Male in his prime along Sabi river, Kruger Park
This lioness is doing what all lions do for up to 20 hours a day....resting.
Lion Pride
Lion pride with a number of small cubs.
Lion Pride
Lion Cubs
Lion cubs are altricial meaning they are born blind and weak as a result of a short gestation period of 110 days. This short gestation means lionesses are not burdened with pregnancy for too long as they need to hunt to survive. Cubs are therefore under developed and remain hidden until they are able to join the pride.
Lion Cubs
Lion blind in left ey
This male is probably blind in the left eye.
Lion blind in left ey
Giraffe carcass from a lion kill
Giraffe carcass from a lion kill. Male lions will help the pride to take down large prey like giraffes and buffalo.
Giraffe carcass from a lion kill
Female lion
This female is thin and probably hasn't eaten in some days. The large canine teeth are used to grasp and kill prey and do not help with feeding. Lions do, however, have well developed carnassial teeth used to cut and shear meat.
Female lion
Female at dusk at the start of a night drive in Kruger
Female at dusk at the start of a night drive in Kruger.
Female at dusk at the start of a night drive in Kruger
Female after a feed. Notice the full stomach and dark face
Female after a feed. Notice the full stomach and dark blood stained face from a recent feeding.
Female after a feed. Notice the full stomach and dark face
5 lion cubs in Kgalagadi
5 lion cubs in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
5 lion cubs in Kgalagadi
4 lions with buffalo nearby
Look out for a slide in the Buffalo Section where we indicate where the lions in this slide were resting.
4 lions with buffalo nearby
2 females careful to avoid the elephant
Lionesses careful to avoid an elephant. In some Game Reserves in Southern Africa lions specialise in hunting elephants although this is not a common prey item for lions due to the elephants large size, strength and the elephant families strategy for protecting their young.
2 females careful to avoid the elephant

Leopards (Panthera pardus)

Leopard Height Pic

Description: Males weigh between 60 & 90kgs (27 – 41lbs) and are 0.8m (2’5”) at the shoulder. Females weigh 30 to 60kgs (27lbs) with a height of 0.7m at the shoulder. They are the largest of Africa’s spotted cats. The coat is a series of rosette patterns on the body and black spots on the face and legs which makes for excellent camouflage in the bush.

Leopards are fussy eaters and often pull the hair or feathers out of prey items before feeding. Having said that, they are not adverse to carrion (meat from dead animals). The usual prey is small to medium antelope, warthogs, bushpigs and baboons but have a varied diet that includes snakes and fish…and even larger antelope like Kudu or Tssessebe.

Lifespan: Wild leopards live for 11 – 15 years old.


Female leopard

Social Structure: Leopards are solitary by nature and only spend time with other leopards for mating or, in the female’s case, raising the cubs. Males have larger territories than females and the male territory overlaps a number of separate female territories, thus giving the male access to different females within his territory. There territories may range in size from 5 to 100 km2 depending on food availability.
Leopards are masters at adaptation and are found in a wide variety of habitats, sometimes within close proximity to human dwellings. Their shy and secretive nature makes them difficult to see in the bush and a leopard sighing in large game reserves is a highlight and often attracts tourists hoping to get a glimpse or even a photo of the leopard.

Leopards are by far the most capable of the big cats at climbing trees

Leopard in tree with kill

Hunting and Cubs: Male and female leopards are true masters at stealth and will attempt to get within 5 or 10m of their prey before launching into a fast but short sprint and deadly pounce. Prey is quickly dispatched and taken into trees in areas that contain lions or hyenas. Leopards will feed on the ground in areas where there are fewer competing species. Leopards are able to hoist prey up to their own weight into trees. Hyenas and even lions may wait below the tree in case the carcass or parts of it fall to the ground.
Female leopards are excellent mothers and will seek out the best places to hide young cubs….a cave, rocky outcrop or thick bush. Cubs are moved from time to time to prevent the scent from building up and attracting other predators. Even so, the mortality rate is high….50% of cubs do not survive. At 18 months old the cubs are forced out of the mother territory although she will tolerate their occasional hunt on her turf for a while until the yare fully capable of fending for themselves.
Males take no part in rearing cubs and like other mammalian predators will kill cubs sired by other males to bring the female into heat.

Leopard on a night drive in Kruger Park

Vocalisations: Lions and leopards are most closely related of the Big Cats due to their similar voice box structure that has a suspensorium (non-ossified voice box that can vibrate). Leopards make a rasping sound similar to that of a hand saw cutting through wood. Leopards have excellent senses in general and use their good hearing and loud rasping to communicate over long distances. These sounds are used to communicate territory and by the females to call for potential mates when they are in heat.


You can click or scroll through the slides below for more images and information

Leopards have a distinctive white tip on the tail used to signal cubs to follow their mothers in thick bush
For me, the most beautiful coat of any Big rosettes and spots provide excellent camoulflage in the Southern African bushveld. Leopard skins are highly prized by some local tribes to indicate strength and stature to the wearer. Leopards are most active at night and are supreme stalkers getting to within a few meters of their prey before pouncing. This was on a night drive in Kruger Park
A large male leopard resting up in the heat of day
Leopards spend time in trees resting. Their balance and agility are second to none
What may appear an awkward position is perfectly comfortable for these Big Cats
When looking for leopards one should always scan trees and look for hanging legs and tails
Leopards will use trees to rest and store their prey if the area has other scavangers like lion or hyena. They are powerfully built animals, low in height with stong muscles and adaptations in the foot which allow them to rotate the paw which aids in tree climbing
Look how well the coat blends into the background. This together with exceptional senses (sight, hearing, smell) make them highly effiecient hunters. Notice the white stripe under each eye....same as lions...used to reflect available light into the eye. Leopards have a high percentage of rod cells in the eye (black and white detection) as well as a structure behind the retina that reflects light back into the eye to be picked up a second time by the light sensitive cells....this help greatly with night hunting.
In Big 5 Game Reserves leopards are a highlight of any safari and are notoriously hard to spot. Drive slowly, scan trees and rocky areas and also look out for prey species that are acting strangely....maybe a few of them are all looking in the same direction. Listen for alarms calls, especially from baboons, a favorite prey item of leopards
A female leopard in Kruger Park
Even with a spotlight on him, leopards melt into the bush. you can see the black tips at the back of the ears. Females have the same markings and this is also used as a "follow me" sign to youngsters trailing behind their mothers....just like the white tail tip.
Leopards are by far the most capable of the big cats at climbing trees
This leopard may have spotted or heard potential prey. Leopards are known to use tree branches to launch vertical attacks on prey that may walk underneath.
Leopards are by far the most capable of the big cats at climbing trees
Retractile claws and massive strength allow the leopard to hoist prey items into trees. Large males develop a thick neck which makes them larger to competing males and certainly helps with carrying heavy kills as these are carried in the jaws. Males also have sunken chests to accomodate prey carried in the mouth and dragged between the front legs.
This is a leopard footprint called a PUG. This is a pug from a front foot and the leopard is moving towards the top left of the picture.


Elephants (Loxodonta africana)

Description: Males weigh 6 000kgs (13 000lbs) and are 3.0m (9’10”) at the shoulder. The heaviest bull on record is 6 569kgs. Females weigh up to 4 000kgs (8 800lbs) with a height of 2.5m (8’1”) at the shoulder…..they are the largest living land animals….they are BIG!! Male and female African Elephants have tusks which are modified upper incisor teeth. Bulls have internal testes so this may make safari identification difficult but males have rounded heads and females angular shaped heads so this help identifying sexes in the bush.

Food: Elephants are herbivores and have a wide ranging diet of grasses, leaves, bark, fruit, flowers, seed pods, aquatic plants, bulbs, tubers and even whole branches.

Lifespan: Elephants live up to 60 years old and usually die of starvation when their last set of molars wear down and they can’t chew vegetation anymore. This may have given rise to the idea of elephant graveyards since old elephants may spend their last weeks near a waterhole where the plants are softer and drinking water is available

Bull and Cow Head Shape

Bull with rounded head and cow with angular head

Social Structure: Elephants have a complex social structure hinged around group cohesion. They have a matriarchal society lead by the oldest cow in the group. A lot of time and effort goes towards raising and teaching young elephants the rules of being an elephant and living in a hierarchical group.
Elephants are highly intelligent animals and are taught bush survival (where the best food and waterholes are for example) by the matriarch or older elephants.
Young bulls leave the herd at about 14 years of age and are either solitary or join small bachelor herds. Older bulls may be accompanied by a few younger bulls called askaris. The old bull teaches the younger bulls social skills and in return the younger bulls may offer protection.
Because elephants are so large and powerful and could cause serious injury or death by fighting, elephant societies are based on hierarchy and rituals thus avoiding the need to fight. Younger bulls practice sparring and mock fighting to establish dominance. The only time bulls fight is for access to cows ready to mate and if two competing bulls are evenly matched. When bulls reach sexual maturity (at about 25 years) they go through phases called Musth which is a period of heightened levels of testosterone. They secrete from their temporal glands and this can be seen staining the sides of their heads.


Tree debarked by an elephant_960Wpx

Feeding and Calves: Elephants are KEYSTONE species meaning they have a significant influence on their habitats. They need to eat up to 300kgs of food a day and drink 150l of water every day. They are fussy drinkers and prefer clean water. Elephants regularly excavate soil to create pools of water thus providing drinking water to other animals.
Elephants will push over trees to get to the tastiest leaves at the top. These fallen trees provide shelter to other animals as well as fresh leaves that smaller animals would not have reached otherwise. They also debark trees to get to the nutrient rich cambrium layer of the tree. These destructive habits are a benefit to the ecosystem and create a natural balance in the bushveld. Too many elephants in an area could well tip the scales and result in large scale destruction of the environment and adversely affect other species. 

Young female elephant_960Wpx

Elephant populations in game reserves need to be monitored and controlled to prevent excess damage. If there were no fences then elephants would migrate to other areas thus keeping the natural balance but because we need to fence off game and nature reserves we have altered these migratory patterns.

Gestation is 22 months long and babies are born weighing in at over 100kgs. Female elephants in the herd help in raising babies which provides a larger community for the babies to rely on. It also allows younger females to practice skills for when they become mothers. If a herd detects a threat they will react instantly and protect the young by shuffling them to the middle of the group.

Young elephants actively learn skills from older family members and learning continues throughout an elephants life….much like humans. Of particular importance is for babies to learn to use their trunks….this only starts to happen after the baby is 3 months old and takes some time to master. Not surprising since the trunk contains over 50 000 muscles.


Vocalisations: Elephants communicate through rumbling or trumpeting and screaming when excited or threatened. Some rumblings can be heard by the human ear but others are infrasonic and cannot be heard. These low frequency, infrasonic, sounds can travel great distances and allow elephants to communicate with each other for large distances…up to 12km.

Trunk and Tusks: These specialised adaptations, in some ways, define an elephant, together with their huge ears. The trunk is an elongated nose and upper lip with over 50 000 muscles in it. The trunk is used for smelling, picking up food items, drinking and amplifying sounds. It can be used for delicate operations like plucking new shoots or leaves from the top of trees to sucking up litres of water at a time to squirt in its mouth. It’s also used to push over trees and to communicate and reinforce bonds by touching other family members.
The tusks are modified incisors. Male and female African elephants have tusks and these may vary in size between individuals. Tusks continue growing throughout an elephant’s lifetime. They are used for defence, digging, stripping bark or cleaning soil from vegetation. Elephants are known to be left or right handed and one can often see an elephant with one tusk more worn down that the other from its preferred side of use. The largest tusk on record from the Lowveld weighed 64.3kgs and the longest was 3.55m long.


You can click or scroll through the slides below for more images and information

Old elephants develop a sunken temple...this can help identify age in the bush
Social interaction between bulls involves touching with the trunk and pushing each other to establish strength and therefore dominance
A group of bulls of different age groups and sizes. Elephants need water daily and can drink up to 150 litres a day.
Elephants walk on their toes while the heel is supported by a thick cartilaginous pad.Elephants are suprisingly quiet when the walk, even over twigs and dry leaves. The pad under the foot provides a cushion as well as sound dampening.
African elephants have 5 toes on the front foot and 4 on the hind foot. The front feet are round and larger than the oval shaped back feet, this to accomodate the massive weight of shoulders, head, trunk and tusks.
Elephants need about 300kgs of plant matter a day. The large amount of course fibrous vegetation results in up to 150kgs of dung daily. Looking at the dung you can see the undigested fibres.
Nothing is wasted in nature. A family of Southern Ground Hornbills eating bugs that live in or feed off elephant dung
Dung beetles are a common site in many game reserves. They roll balls of dung, lay their eggs in the dung and bury it in the ground. When the eggs hatch the dung provides nutrients for the new dung beetles
A bull in Musth. The secretions from the temporal gland are quite visible
A young elephant cow. Notice the teat between the front legs. Elephants are the only mammals besides primates to have teats in this position
Elephants love water and are capable swimmers if needs be using the trunk as a snorkel. The young are especially fond of playing in water....just like humans
A mud bath serves a few cool the elephant down but also to coat the skin in a layer of mud to protect it from sunburn and stinging insects. When the mud dries and is rubbed off it also removes ticks and other parasites
Mud is sucked into the trunk and then sprayed over the body
A tree stump serves as the perfect rubbing post
An elephant skull showing where the tusks protrude through the upper jaw. There are only 2 very large molars on either side of the skull and the bottom jaw is the same. Elephants produce only 6 sets of molars and as the front tooth wears down it is pushed forward by the new and larger back molar. When the last set has worn down the elephant will starve to death.
Look on the far right of the picture. There is a crocodile on the bank and the right hand ellie (short for elephant) is keeping a close eye on it
This picture should dispel any doubts about the true size of a big bull elephant. The driver is taking a risk passing this big guy. On self drive safaris its a good idea to keep a safe distance from elephants and rather let them move off the road before passing


Buffalos (Syncerus caffer)

Buffalo Height Pic

Description: Males weigh 800kgs (1 765lbs) and are 1.4m (4’6”) at the shoulder. Females weigh up to 750kgs (1 600lbs). They are very large bovids with a reputation for aggression and charging towards danger instead of backing away. They have large and heavy horns, in the case of the bulls these horns are fused at the base called a boss.

Food: Buffalo’s are grazers preferring long grasses. They may browse in times of drought.

Lifespan: They may live for up to 23 years in the wild.

Predators: lions and humans (leopard and hyaena may kill baby animals)


Social Structure: Buffalo live in mixed herds which can number many hundreds of animals. Within this larger group are smaller, more closely related family members. The group size is determined by available resources and larger group split into smaller units during times of abundant food and water.
The family units are called clans and comprise of cows and their young. Males are also associated with the clan. Old bulls past their sexual maturity leave the herd and either wander around the bush as individuals or form small bachelor herds. These old bulls are called ‘dagha-boys’, dagha being the Zulu word for mud referring to the old bulls propensity for wallowing in mud. Dagha-boys are well known for their aggressive temperament and in the days of hunting, these old bulls were regarded as being the most dangerous of the Big 5 to hunt.
Rank amongst females increases once she has had young. The advantage of improved rank is that a higher ranking member will spend more time on the edges of the group giving them access to fresher, untrampled grasses.
In males, rank is decided by fighting ability and therefore age and size. Posturing often settles the hierarchy but this can quickly lead to head clashes between bulls…..the impact being absorbed by the heavy boss.


Buffalo bull with distinct boss

Not all Big 5 views are in the open

Buffalos are grazers (eat grasses) and are not particularly fussy about quality, preferring quantity to fuel their large bodies. In drought conditions they may supplement this with browsing. They are sensitive to heat and will feed in the cooler hours of the day and at night. The large herds move through the bushveld seeking out good grazing and available water. Pathfinders are individual animals that determine the herds movements. They are not necessarily those animals with the highest rank. Sub-units within the group will also have pathfinders who will lead the unit when it splits from the main group.
Buffalo need to drink daily, and sometimes even twice a day. This is done as a group and animals wade into the water to drink and take mud baths.
Females have 1 baby after a gestation of 11 months. Mating and calving usually occur in the rainy season when grasses are abundant and more nutritious for the cows milk production. Calves can stand up within a few minutes of being born but it takes some time to develop sufficient co-ordination of their legs. The herd may continue moving leaving mother and baby behind for a short time until the youngster is strong enough to keep up with the herd.

Mud bath and a wash_960Wpx

Vocalisations: Buffalo make a bellowing sound when alarmed. The herd reacts to this and closes ranks with females and young in the centre and adult bulls on the edges and rear. A buffalo herd standing together makes for a formidable defensive wall against attack. They are known to mob lions and even come to the rescue animals being attacked by lions.

You can click or scroll through the slides below for more images and information

Two bulls engaged in a power play to determine each others strength and therefore rank in the group
The Boss with the boss. The heavy horns are used for defence and in adult males for a thick centre called the boss
In the Lion Gallery there was a photo of some lions resting where we indicated for you to look in the Buffalo Gallery...this is that picture and the green oval marks where the lions were lying minutes before the buffalo moved out of the water
Dagha-boys cooling off in the water. Buffs (short for Buffalo) are heat sensitive, especially the older bulls, so they spend a fair amount of time near or in water
This bull is making the most of a mud bath, caking his entire body in protective mud
Buffalo dung closely resembles a cow patt
Whats left behind after a herd of buffalo have crossed the road


Rhinos (White Rhino – Ceratotherium simum, Black Rhino –  Diceros bicomis)

Rhino Height Pic

Description: There are two species of Rhino in Southern Africa. The White Rhino is the larger of the two. Males weigh up to 2 400kgs (5 300lbs) and are 1.8m (5’9”) at the shoulder. Females weigh up to 1 600kgs (3 500lbs) and the same height. The White Rhino is the second largest land mammal on earth. White Rhino have broad square shaped lips used to crop grass as they feed. They have thick muscular necks used to support the large head and provide the force behind its horns which are used in territorial fights and in defence against predators. The head is carried low on the shoulders to aid eating grasses.

Black Rhino males weigh 850kgs (1 875lbs) and females slightly more at 880kgs (1 940lbs). Both are 1.6m (5’4”) at the shoulder. The Black Rhino is significantly smaller although small is a relative term in the bush. Black Rhino are browsers, meaning they eat leaves from trees and bushes. To aid this the species has a pre-hensile hook lip that is used to grab and strip leaves from branches. The head is smaller and held higher on the shoulders to assist with its browsing habit.

Food: White Rhino feed on grasses and prefer short cut green shoots. Black Rhino eat leaves and small twigs. It’s quite easy for game rangers to tell one species from another just by the dung they leave behind. The Black Rhino dung, besides being smaller than White, contains undigested twigs…much coarser than its grass eating cousin.

Lifespan: Both species live to 40 years in the wild.

Predators: Humans and lions and hyaena prey on baby animals.


Adult White rhino

Social Structure: White Rhino bulls are highly territorial and spend a lot of time marking their territorial boundaries in a number of ways including visually obvious signs like foot scraping and middens (Rhino dung piles) and smell signals such as urine spraying and spreading their own dung around. Territorial bulls will tolerate neighbouring bulls as long as they show submission. Neighbouring bulls and cows will even use the territory holders midden but they refrain from spreading their dung.
Males are solitary except when with a female in heat. Females raise the calves after a 16 month long gestation. Bulls may fight to the death when claiming new territory of over access to females.
They are gregarious animals and a cow is often accompanied by her calf and even the previous years calf. Newly independent rhinos may form small same or mixed sex groups. Females live in undefended home ranges that overlap one another.

Black Rhino males are even more territorial than White and bull fights are particularly savage and frequently result in serious injury or death. This species prefers thick vegetation (which makes them very difficult to spot on game drives).
Just like other large herbivores, both species like to wallow in mud which protects against the heat of day and sunburn. Rhinos often use the same tree stump, rock or anthill to scrape off dried mud and satisfy an itch. Due to this frequent use the rubbing post may become smooth and polished

Baby White rhino

Feeding and Calves: White Rhino are grazers of grass and prefer short grasses. Their feeding habits result in cropped grass resembling cut lawn.

Black Rhino eat shrubs and leaves and are well adapted to this with their hooked upper lip and preference for thick shrub vegetation.

Both species give birth to just one calf which is aggressively protected against predators.

Of particular interest between the two species is the tendency for White Rhino calves to run in front of their mothers whereas the Black Rhino baby follows its mother.

Vocalisations: Generally silent but also squealing if frightened or during fighting. The squeal is loud and unexpected comming from such a large animal.

You can click or scroll through the slides below for more images and information

Red Billed Oxpeckers are almost always in attendence, eating bugs and parasites from Rhino skin
This White Rhino bull has bits of dried mud on the rump and back. The species also has a large head carried low on the shoulder. You can clearly see the square lip designed for grazing grasses
Another photo of Red Billed Oxpeckers helping to remove unwanted parasites from a White Rhino
White Rhino midden used as a territorial marker. The territorial bull spreads his own dung around the midden area which signals to other rhino who's area they are in