The genet rodeo king is back!

Genet Rides A Black Rhino 2015 07 21
Whether it’s a weasel on the back of a woodpecker or a crow perched on an eagle, interspecies hitchhiking is a strategy that yields results for animals on the hunt for internet fame. Genet Jackson knows this only too well. 

Last year, a genet (since nicknamed Genet Jackson) became an overnight internet star when camera-trap images from conservation group Wildlife ACT showed the cat-like carnivore perched atop a buffalo and later a rhino in a South African game reserve.

Intrigued by the animal’s unusual behaviour and not satisfied with just photographs for proof, Wildlife ACT teamed up with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Rhino Africa to try to capture video footage of the genet in action. Their efforts paid off and a recently released clip shows the cowboy genet clinging to the back of a critically endangered black rhino.

Although there is still debate about the reasons behind the genet’s herbivore-riding tendencies, the footage does help shed some light on the behaviour. Like cattle egrets that are known to follow grazing mammals so they can feast on insects flushed out as these animals move through the grass, the genet can be seen snatching insects from atop its lofty rhino perch. It’s unclear whether or not the genet is also picking ticks off its herbivore chauffeur.

Hopefully further footage of Genet Jackson will provide more insights into this unique and fascinating behaviour. Follow the famous genet on Twitter for updates (tweets are his own).


Top header image: Steve Garvie, Flickr