Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Rhino's Guard

Always on the lookout for a new Rhinoceros statue, I've found one out in the Northwest.  Nestled near the Canadian border, there is a small town named Sheridan in Wyoming where there exists a most interesting bronze Rhino statue.

Smack-dab on the corner of Brundage & Main Street sits The Boss created by Dollores B. Shelledy and donated by the Sheridan Public Arts Committee in 2006.  There are sixteen statues throughout downtown and a number of additional ones on loan and for sale.

Not only is this statue unique for depicting the Rhino as sitting, but the artist also included some friends.

Perched on its back are three oxpeckers, or tick birds.
The rhino has a symbiotic relationship with the bird. Its Swahili name, askari wa kifaru, means "the rhino's guard." The bird eats ticks it finds on the rhino and noisily warns of danger. Although the birds also eat blood from sores on the rhino's skin and thus obstruct healing, they are still tolerated.

Luckily for us, Dollores chose not to depict that ugly truth.