Firefighting Rhinos?

by wag.mado@evpl on Friday, July 10 2009, 3:11pm. Viewed 1,571 times.

rhinocerosOK, so it’s not your typical reference question. If it was, I wouldn’t be blogging about it. But, inquiring minds want to know, and they often ask the EVPL Reference department.


The question was – Do rhinos really go around stamping out fires? The person asking the question had just watched the 1984 movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy, where it was mentioned that if a rhino sees a fire, he always stamps it out.


Well, others have had the same question after watching the movie, so the answer was not hard to find.  Apparently it is a legend. The legend began in Malaysia, India and Burma. In Malay, the rhinoceros has a special name, badak api, in which badak means rhinoceros and api means fire. However, there is no evidence in recent history that proves this phenomenon. It could be because rhino sightings are very rare in Southeast Asia due to poaching of these endangered animals. In any case, the rhinoceros that are still alive spend their time in the deep forest and high mountains, and are rarely seen.


Of course, that doesn’t mean that the legend is not alive and well in today’s modern world. If you search online, there are several fire protection products and businesses which use the “Rhino” name. There is also a 1999 Simpson’s episode that depicts a rhino “instinctively” trying to stamp out an SUV that has burst into flames.  Humm…… I wonder if we got calls following that episode?

Comments (3)

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on Friday, July 10 2009, 4:33pm

One more thing.

If you have a preschooler who would like to learn about rhinos, there's a cute song on YouTube that I bet they would like. My 2-year-old granddaughter loves it!

gawell@evpl wrote
on Sunday, July 12 2009, 3:17pm

I thought it was crepes that they liked to put their stamp on, I think I heard something about that from a Jeopardy question.

"What's flatter than a pancake?"

...and maybe the campfire that was cooking up those crepes also got stamped out in the excitement.

on Thursday, July 16 2009, 5:59pm's similar to the "do giraffes clean their ears with their tongues?" ;)