Parents often dread the “terrible twos”. Well, if you ask Apollo’s Keepers, the same might apply for rhinos! By and large, our two-year-old boy is still very sweet and docile, but sometimes he behaves in ways that leave everyone shaking their heads.
Apollo pulled a disappearing act twice this month. Nothing precipitated these unwanted games of hide-and-seek; it seems that he just wanted to make himself scarce! Of course, great drama ensued as everyone rushed to locate the wayward rhino. Both times, thankfully, he had not gone far at all. For his part, Apollo seemed completely unconcerned about the panic he had caused, and paddled placidly back to his Keepers.
Watch: Morning milk feed & Midday mud bath with Apollo
The newly luscious conditions are the perfect accessory to Apollo’s disappearing acts. The rains arrived towards the end of the month, transforming the barren landscape into a verdant paradise. This is wonderful news for all the area’s wildlife, but it does make things harder for the Keepers: Amidst the thick greenery, Apollo can disappear without a trace in an instant, despite his increasingly hulking size!
Apollo is always accompanied by his long-suffering Keepers. As he has gotten older (again, we reminisce on the “terrible twos”), he has made it clear that he appreciates a bit of space. Supervised independence is an important step in a rhino’s reintegration journey. While they always keep an eye on him, the Keepers maintain more of a distance now, allowing Apollo to feel some autonomy as he explores.
With the onset of the rains, Apollo has mud baths on tap. He can be found slipping and sliding on the road verges and splashing in any fresh puddles he encounters on his daily rounds. While his established mud bath remains a favourite haunt, he now has plenty more options to choose from.
The dry season was extremely challenging for all manner of creatures, but Apollo never skipped a beat. Thanks to plenty of supplementary feed, he remained in tip top condition. Our two-year-old might give his Keepers some grief, but he is blossoming into a very impressive young rhino.