Black cab: Endangered rhino used as taxi by opportunistic genet (VIDEO)
The video was uploaded to YouTube by Wildlife ACT. Its volunteers, together with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife – another organization promoting wildlife conservation – caught this very peculiar nocturnal stunt using a camera trap.
We don’t know if the numerous sightings of genets riding wild animals are all the same clever genet with an abnormally high IQ, or if the little carnivores just generally enjoy beast surfing. A nocturnal relative of the mongoose, with its ridiculous raccoon tail and leopard spots, the genet is not a very well-studied animal, owing to its secretive habits. But in this case it certainly provides amusement.
Another video was caught in 2014 – at the time a genet was riding a buffalo, followed by another photo-shoot involving a white rhino, something observed several times previously. This time, however, we see it sit atop a much rarer species of rhinoceros. The people with Wildlife ACT nicknamed it ‘Genet Jackson’.
Theories as to why this takes place? Wildlife biologist and vice-president of the African Wildlife Foundation, Craig Sholley, told National Geographic he believes the genets are hitchhiking as a clever means of searching for food.
A bit of detective work tells scientists the cute animal’s diet actually consists of what its ‘taxis’ gather from the ground as they graze for grass. Sholley believes ticks are right up the genet’s alley, so the taxi is actually a moving food source as well.
To add to this, the genet also seems to be using the transportation to widen its search area. The prey it hunts ranges all the way through to a baby antelope.
The animal can be heard making its characteristic squealing noises at the end of the video, as the rhino inexplicably darts into the bush.