The feeling I experienced was peace, and deep eternal sadness. White rhino are massive, with a weight of up to 2300 kilogram. But I looked at their magnificent horns and at the ‘sweet spot' a "good" hunter would aim for, just behind the shoulder joint, and I realized that they are as fragile as a naked human being. Rhino have poor eyesight; they rely on their other senses to survive. They are babes in the woods against poachers. They have no defense against a bullet from a high-powered rifle, panga, axe or chainsaw.
A little while later, the four giants puzzle-pieced themselves into a little mud-hole just big enough for two. With a lot of pushing, shoving, grunting and snorted arguments they finally settled on a four-square configuration that seemed to please all of them. A picture from overhead would have revealed a perfect cube. We left the happy crash to enjoy their spa time in peace.
Those four docile, gentle giants knew exactly what we humans are capable of, but for a blissful few hours, they were just doing what they do best – being rhino. Should you be open to it, when they lift their heads and stare into your soul, you can glimpse the depths of their ancient knowledge and the true, pure spirit of gentle giants residing in the deep river-pebbled depths of their liquid eyes. They convey understanding, empathy, and deep sadness at the same time as complete incomprehension as to why anyone would want to hurt them; as well as a type of closed-off oblivion to the cruelty out there.