Wildlife monitor Sam Vorster and his crew had quite a thrilling experience in Kruger National Park — they were charged by a black rhino.
Familiar with the the park’s animals due to the nature of his work, Volster had seen this male many times before and was surprised by his aggressive behavior. This particular rhino is “generally quite passive, although true to his species, he would sometimes mock charge us – as black rhinos are wanton to do,” said Vorster.
Vorster said that he could tell that the rhino was less tolerant that day, and warned his volunteers to remain as still and quiet as possible. Despite their best efforts, one of the volunteers startled the animal by dropping a camera strap.
Volster and his team made a quick getaway after the initial warning charge. “As soon as the rhino hit the car, I dropped my phone and drove away before he came back for real,” he recalled.
Unfortunately, this male got into a fight with another rhino shortly after this sighting and died of his injuries.
Black rhinos have poor vision, so they tend to charge when they catch a whiff of anything unfamiliar — like a car full of humans — in the name of self-preservation. They’ve also been known to charge unfamiliar objects like trees and rocks.
Black rhinos have two horns, and will use the bigger one as a weapon when battling with other rhinos or defending themselves against predators; namely lions, crocs, hyenas, and the occasional human.
Words of advice? Anytime you come into close contact with a rhino like this, keep calm and still.