This is the incredibly rare Javan Rhino. One of the rarest large animals on earth.
There are 5 different species of rhino, this is one of the two that live in the forests of Indonesia.
These only live in one park and there are none in any zoos on earth.
The story of how I got this picture is at the bottom of this page if you want a long read.
Ujong Kulon National Park, Indonesia
If you were to rank the pictures on this site from most significant to least, this would be the top picture.
This is easily the highlight of my site and moves the whole collection up a big notch.
The Javan Rhino is nutoriously difficult to photograph. Many people have spent months in this park and not seen one.
In 2011, I spent 12 full days canoeing rivers looking. Another 9 days in 2012 on a canoe.
In 2013, for a change of pace, I began waiting day and night in hammocks up in trees in hopeful areas.
In 2015 and 2016, I switched it up between canoe and hammock depending on whatever seemed best each trip.
All I can say is I truly put blood, sweat and tears into getting a picture of one of these.
In 2017, after nearly 60 full days spread over 7 years and 6 trips, I finally got very very lucky.
How lucky? First, I could not sleep one morning at 4:30am. Jetlag I guess?
For no real reason, I just randomly decided to go out spotting night critters in an inflatable canoe.
My guide was too tired from the day before to wake up that early so I went alone.
Had he gone along, we would have almost assuredly made a lot more noise. He means well but... noisy.
As it began to get light out, again for no reason, I was testing out exactly how quiet I could paddle.
I suppose just out of curiosity, I paddled as slow and quiet as I could.
Without even noticing, the wind was blowing down the river from in front of me to behind.
That also was just random luck. In spite of largely having lost faith years ago I'd ever see this...
There was a rhino just around the next turn. Then check this out... It just so happened to be blind in it's left eye.
At least, I think it is. Look at both eyes in the shots above. Something is definitely wrong with it's left eye.
So at a random time to wake up, I was randomly practicing paddling quietly when the wind randomly blew my smell the right way
and I just happen to approach this shy rhino from it's blind side. That's lotto odds luck.
If you know me at all, I'm sure you've heard me talk about this animal for years. I am still so happy I saw this!!!
I can't believe it!! I also made a video but my heart was racing and hands shaking so much, it rather sucks. Sorry.