This is a unique image indeed, one of a black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) in the ‘olden days’ within the Mana Pools National Park, before the war, and before poaching took a grip, wiping out the rhino from its natural habitat. Photographer, Alastair Webb, another former colleague, took this image using slide film (Kodak Ektacrhome 64), while on foot in the park. The image was recently ‘scanned’ to digital using the technique of photographing the slide with a rear light source. The distribution of the rhino was wide spread in Zimbabwe, and most of central and eastern Africa. Its only real predator is man, usually armed with AK47 rifles, with the object of harvesting this beautiful animal’s horns. Their horns, a fibrous material, typically grows to about 130 cm., and which, the myth pursues, has aphrodisiac and curing properties. Mankind will regret this foolish belief within just a few years from now, as this wonderful beast becomes truly extinct. Demand for horn had become so strong that criminals are raiding museums and stealing horn from taxidermy preserved animals, which should never have been ‘stuffed’ in the first place. A word of thanks to Alastair for allowing me the use of this photograph on this photo blog.
(Yashicaflex 25mm with a Tamron 300mm; f/5,6; 1/1250sec; ISO-64; 300mm)
Picture ©2012 Alastair Webb Esq.