TRUTH OR TAIL? Black rhinos squeak as a way to communicate.
Although it seems like it should be a “tail” that a mammal weighing in at more than 3,000 pounds squeaks, it is definitely true. Rhino herds use a variety of vocalizations to communicate with each other — or to communicate that an unknown individual is near, from grunting and snorting to heavy breathing and trumpeting. And, yes, even squeaking! With two mother-daughter pairs in the Zoo rhino barn this spring, the vocalization was at a near constant said keeper Alisa Sandor. Calves Lulu and Nia would snort, snuff and squeak to let their moms know they were ready to nurse or rest. Moms Inga and Kibi would return the favor, snorting or huffing in response to their own movements or the presence of male Forrest. “Even our male Forrest lets out a tiny squeak when he’s looking for attention from the girls,” said Sandor. As the calves get older, they are spending time together and all four girls can often be found outside. Be sure to visit this summer at African Savanna.