On Rhinoceros simus, Burchell in the Leiden Museum
According to Dr. P. L. Sclater (Nature, September 25, 1890, p. 520) Mr. F. Selous says in the Field of August 16 as follows: — »it was within a mile of this spot that, two years previously (i. e. in 1888), I shot two white Rhinoceroses Rhinoceros simus), the last of their kind that have been killed (and, perhaps, that ever will be killed) by an Englishman. They were male and female, and I preserved the skin of the head and the skull of the former for the South African Museum in Cape town, where they now are.... To the best of my belief, the great white or square-mouthed Rhinoceros, the largest of modern terrestrial mammals after the Elephant, is on the very verge of extinction, and in the next year or two will become absolutely extinct. If in the near future some student of natural history should wish to know what this extinct beast really was like, he will find nothing in all the Museums of Europe and America to enlighten him upon the subject, but some half-dozen skulls and a goodly number of the anterior horns.” After having pointed out the four striking characteristics by which the heads of Rh. simus and Rh. bicornis may be distinguished, Dr. Sclater concludes as follows: »I wish to call special attention to what Mr. Selous has already said — that no Museum in Europe or America possesses a specimen of this huge animal and to point out that the country, in which alone (as is possible but by no means certain) the last stragglers exist, being now within the British Empire, it is clearly our duty to endeavour to obtain and preserve examples of the great white or square-mouthed Rhinoceros for the use and information of posterity.”
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Jentink, F.A. (1890). On Rhinoceros simus, Burchell in the Leiden Museum. Notes from the Leyden Museum, 12(4), 241–245.