Across the river bridge past the South American habitats, you'll discover the center of the African savanna.
The rolling habitat at River's Edge has several vantage points that let you gaze at the endangered black rhinos as they wallow in the mud under a small waterfall. The mud protects the rhino against the heat and insect bites. Black rhinos are very rare in the wild due to illegal hunting for its horn.
Purina Painted Dog Preserve
Painted dogs, also known as African wild dogs or Cape hunting dogs, are the largest African canid. These beautifully spotted, social pack animals are among the most endangered canids in the world. Once common in Africa, the dogs number fewer than 3,000 in the wild today. Get up close at the viewing window to see the dogs playing and chasing each other in the open grassy spaces, splashing in the stream, digging in the sand pile or taking a rest in a den.
Red River Hog, Bat-Eared Fox, Carmine Bee Eaters
Carmine bee-eaters nest in deep holes dug into stream banks and steep earthen cliffs. As their name suggests, their favorite foods are bees and wasps.
The bat-eared fox has big ears, which help the fox shed body heat, listen for primary prey (insects) and send visual signals to help keep in contact with other members of its family group.
The red river hog is most active at night, and one important activity is searching for food. The hog uses its snout like a plow to dig up roots to eat.
Hidden Clues Along the Path
- Look up! It's hard to miss that carcass of a dead impala in the treetops near the red river hogs. It was probably dragged up there by a leopard, one of the only African hunters strong enough to stash its kill in a tree where it's safe from other predators.
- Look down to see the first signs of rhinos—fat little beetles that are pushing around balls of...yes, rhino dung! African dung beetles use the dung balls for laying their eggs. They love to hang around areas where rhinos deposit and scrape their dung.
Find out what's around the next bend in Africa Nile.