Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Runaway Rhino Went off the Rez and on the Randan



How the Rhinoceros got his Skin, woodcut by Kipling —Wiki
Runaway rhino off the rez and on the randan (or should I say ram-dam?)

At least eight people were injured and an 61-year-old woman named Hari Maya Dahal was killed by a rampaging rhino that entered a bazaar shopping mall in Nepal. Perhaps it was attracted by the bright, shiny clothing. Videos of the rhino's Project Runway rampage took Twitter by storm before local authorities were alerted and got to the scene of his latest crime spree.

The homicidal one-horned rhino held the city of Hetauda (50 miles south of Kathmandu) hostage all day Monday. The runaway rhino tore through the streets, threatened bystanders and chased after motorcycles. Talk about right of way. Tipping in at 4,000-6,000 pounds, you might say he owned the mean streets of Hetauda.

The rhino then sat down in front of the Hetauda Hospital for a wee rest before terrorizing folks there. Somehow I don't think he was there to pay last respects to his victims. It seems he holds a grudge. Or maybe he wants to go into internal medicine, or was waiting for his anger management class to begin. 

The irritated rhino, nicknamed Makwanpure, also killed an innocent cow and a buffalo (so much for ungulate solidarity) before a four-team elephant task force was able to shepherd the cranky rhino back to the rhino reserve in Chitwan National Park. 

Rhinos suffer from extreme myopia and don't have much by way of excess brainpower. They're about as bright as a railroad crossing lamp. They make up for this deficiency with a keen sense of smell and hearing—augmented by razor sharp tusks. Forget the horn. Rhinos are extremely sensitive to noise, and they really don't like loud clothing.

Built like armour-plated locomotives, they are surprisingly agile on their feet, can outrun a human, and turn on a dime and give you pause for change. These behemoth twinkletoes would make good futba' players. And not even a referee would contest their goal points. 

This is Makwanpure’s second known rampage offense. There might be others. I'd say that more than a few people are after chapping his hide, he's the alleged red-eyed one waiting for tourists to tumble off their elephants at Chitwan National Park situated in the marshy lowlands of the Himalayas.

Not only do rhinos have very short fuses, they are extremely territorial, the official advice is to never run from them and don't turn your back on them, as they'll attack and gore you from behind. Talk about playing dirty.

Apparently there are several casualties in the park every year. But a steady stream of tourists keeps the rhinos ship-shape. In 2013, Bharat Pandey, a tourist guide at Hotel Royal Park, was gored by an unidentified rhino, and died. I wonder if Makwanpure can account for his whereabouts on the morning of Friday, September 13, 2013? Did he suffer from acute trixadexaphobia? Friday the 13th was certainly unlucky for Bharat Pandey.

If something like that happened here in America, the rhino would've been put down. Pronto. Pity the poor peckish puma caught trespassing in Gourmet Ghetto backyards in 2010. Shot. Daid. Yup. Didn't even try to eat anybody, not even a baguette or the really ripe homeless guys.

During the 1960s, the endangered Indian rhinoceros numbered fewer than 100 individuals. Once mistaken for unicorn horns, rhinoceros' horns are considered an aphrodisiac.

Rhino means nose and ceros means horn in Greek. There are five species (once there were 60—ranging from 3 stories tall to dog-sized): white rhino (the largest), greater one-horned Indian rhino (the tallest), and the most critically endangered species are the one-horned Javan, black, and Sumatran (oldest and smallest) rhinos. A herd is called A Crash of Rhinos. Two rhinos constitutes a crash, they're solitary creatures. A rhino’s horn is not attached to its skull: it's basically a massive ingrown hair or toenail (or two) made of keratin, on its snout. (Explains its crankiness).

The guy who thought rhinos were unicorns mustv'e misplaced his coke-bottle glasses. But they are related to tapirs, horses and zebras. And the other guy who thought rhino horns were the precursor to Viagra must've been a serious cokehead. If it were true, then chewing your fingernails would yield similar results.

How fingernail/ horn shavings help raise the one-eyed one up, is beyond me. For that natural rush, rhino numbers nearly plummeted off the cliff of extinction. Speaking of the limitations of logic, what would Ionesco say?

Nepal is one of the few places in the world where poaching has been met with zero tolerance with a zero rhino poaching record in both 2011 and 2013. I guess they fell off the wagon in 2012.

Apparently the Nepalese government was set to begin their rhino census count, held every four years, on Monday. I guess Makwanpure went on the lam so he couldn't be counted. I am not a number! Perhaps Leap Day would have been a better day to begin the count.

This is not Makwanpure’s first walk from the park. Eleven months ago, he went on walkabout and wreaked havoc in the Chattiwan 'hood, was tranquilized and treated for lacerations at a lakeside resort. It's not known whether bright clothing set him off.

On his latest outing, the rampant rhino managed to evade the forest guards, the Nepal Police and the Nepal Army before surrendering. Sort of. Apparently, like Godzilla or a T-Rex, a rhino goes pretty much anywhere he wants. So much for rhino-free buffer zones.

Who knew that rhinos were consummate escape artists? In January, three large white rhinos tiptoed past a sleeping guard and made a run for it from Ramat Gan Safari Park to a nearby car park in Tel Aviv, Israel. Apparently rhinos have a thing for pavement. Must be that itchy skin. Or something from one of Kipling's lost Just So stories.

Caught off campus without a hall pass, Rhianna the rhino was cited as the ringleader, but her cohorts, Keren Peles, and Karnivala, had nothing to disclose. However, the groggy guard was relieved of his post. Hit the road, Jack.

Nepal's famous reserve, Chitwan National Park, located 30 miles from Hetauda, has the largest herd of one-horned rhinos in the world—503 rhinos of the world's remaining 3000 beasts. Maybe cross-breeding, or rather, inbreeding has something to do with Makwanpure’s terrible temper. Maybe it's hormonal.

Poor Hari Maya Dahal. Poor Bharat Pandey. Some unicorn.

Wonder what his name means in Hindi? मकवान The whole Makwan? Namaste? Dirty Harry? Johnson? Number 1? Number 6? The whole nine yards?

Nope, not on Snopes. Ya just can't make this stuff up. 

Not even on April Fool's Day.




My sources:

Rampaging Rhino Terrorizes Small Town in Nepal Wall Street Journal, India Real TIme

What Happened to the Rampaging Rhno? Wall Street Journal, India Real TIme

Runaway Rhino Returns to Chitwan National Park eKantipur

Runaway Rhinoceros Rampages through Bazaar in Nepal eKantipur

Hotel employee dies in rhino attack Nepal News

Cougar killed near Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto - SFGate The "mountain lion was in the parking lot of the former Elephant Pharmacy near the corner of Shattuck and Cedar Street."

The great escape! Daily Mail CCTV footage shows hilarious moment security guard chases Rihanna the rhino and friends after they sneak past him to break out of safari park


Rhinoceros

How the Western Black Rhino Went Extinct At the beginning of the 20th century, one million black rhinoceroses from four different subspecies roamed the savannas of Africa. By 2001 that number dropped to 2,300 black rhinos and just three subspecies. It is a story of greed, indifference, hope and despair.

World's Last Male Northern White Rhino Placed Under 24-Hour Armed Guard In Kenya

Keep the Rhino Rangers Safe in Sudan. They're guarding the last of the rhinos. A GoFundMe project that could use your help in reaching their goal of £75,000. For press inquiries please contact: Elodie Samper-elodie.sampere@olpejetaconservancy.org  +254 727 341612

Rhinos Without Borders RWOB plans to airlift 100 black rhinos from South Africa to Botswana in order to save them from poaching and develop a new breeding nucleus.They could use some help with funding too.

Conservationists Plan To Airlift 100 Rhinos To Save Them From Poaching Catch up on African black rhinos being airlifted to sanctuaries

Largest Rhino Airlift Ever to Move 100 At-Risk Animals National Geographic
this is the story that kicked off my rhino fixation this morning.  Visit it for the iconic blindfolded black rhino photo alone.

25 Things You Might Not Know About Rhinos World Rhino Day is September 22 (you knew that, right?)

No comments: