Mark the Rhino (and a tyre) become internet sensations

mark the rhino facebook zimbabwe october 2016

If you thought you were having a bad Monday, consider Mark the rhino.

Likely minding his business doing things rhinos traditionally do on the weekend, Mark somehow got his snout snagged in a car tyre.

Images and videos of the unfortunate herbivore were published on Facebook by the Aware Trust Zimbabwe page and quickly gained momentum across the internet. At the time of writing, the video has garnered over 3700 views, with just under 200 reactions and 80 shares.

“At first rangers thought he’d be able to dislodge it himself but as he continued to thrash around in frustration it became apparent the tyre was firmly stuck behind his front horn stub,” the page explains.

That might sound pretty funny, but if Mark was unable to get the tyre off his snout, there would be serious consequences.

“The muscles that open your mouth are much weaker than the muscles which close your mouth, since they usually have the help of gravity, so no amount of straining was going to enlarge the tyre’s central hole. Mark’s mouth was bound firmly shut and he couldn’t eat or drink.

After rangers alerted necessary vets, the tyre was dislodged from Mark’s snout within minutes, allowing the parched rhino to drink his fill.

Mark the rhino’s plight highlighted the battle against pollution in Zimbabwe’s wildlife reserves

“We found Mark, the dominant bull, lying close to his girlfriends, looking decidedly dejected and exhausted from his ordeal on this scorching hot day.”

“Fortunately the tyre came off in a few minutes with man power, and we did not have to resort to cutting through it. Eleven minutes later he was antidoted and grazing again as if nothing had happened,” the page adds.

While not going viral enough to warrant a meme, Mark’s plight did highlight the problems with pollution facing wildlife in Zimbabwe’s parks.

Have a look at the short below, and be sure to visit Aware Trust Zimbabwe for more snippets of Mark and his friends.

Andy Walker, former editor


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