Most adolescents go through a rebellious stage, and Apollo is no different. Some days, totally unprovoked, he goes dashing through the bush. He can run quite fast when he sets his mind to it, and more than once, it has taken a search party to track down our wayward rhino. Funnily, he shows no hesitation about following his Keepers home when they finally catch up with him. Clapping hands and an encouraging, ‘C’mon, Apollo!’ is all it takes to get him to change direction and follow them home.
While Apollo prefers to do his own thing, he is very curious. In fact, we think he is a bit of a busybody. He goes to the mud bath first, then is ushered down to the big baobab tree so the elephants can have their turn. Very often, however, the Keepers on elephant duty catch a glimpse of his perked ears poking above the underbrush: Ever so quietly, he sneaks back to observe the elephants wallowing!
However, Apollo has no shortage of friends. The varied members of our orphan herd — Kwale the hartebeest, Susu the eland, Mkubwa the buffalo — link up with him just before mud bath and then spend several hours in his company. While Apollo rests under the big baobab, he often has a napping partner. Rukinga, an orphaned oryx who is now largely living wild, appears on the dot, as if it was a pre-arranged date! While Apollo sleeps beneath the big branches, Rukinga settles down a short distance away. Between Apollo’s increasingly hulking horn and Rukinga’s sceptre-like set, they make for quite a formidable team, even in repose.