A family in Puebla had a terrifying experience, as a wild rhino tried to flip their car, before ramming into it multiple times. Safaris are a common item on travel bucket lists, with many people hoping to get a real taste of wild animals in their natural environment. They are usually seen as a more authentic way of experiencing these incredible creatures than going to a zoo, with the possibility of seeing exotic creatures in their natural habitat, without bars or enclosures.
However, that same lack of separation between guests and wildlife can also be risky, with tourists protected from large creatures only by their car doors and windows. While most animals will stay a safe distance from a vehicle as it passes through a safari park, as they become increasingly used to the presence of cars they can start to approach them - either with curiosity or very occasionally, with aggression. In this particular case, a wild rhino certainly didn’t seem happy about one of the SUVs passing through.
The incident happened at Africam Safari in Pueblo, Mexico. The park invites guests to drive through the park in their cars (or in buses provided), with different areas where it’s possible to see rhinos, zebra, giraffes, lions and tigers. However, as the passengers of one car watched (and filmed) the car in front of theirs was attacked by a wild rhino. The rhino rammed the car with its horn, attempting to flip the vehicle and ripping off a part of the bumper. Although the car tried to drive away, and scare off the animal by honking the horn, the rhino continued to ram the side of the car and follow it as it went.
Africam said in a statement that this was an isolated incident:
What happened is an isolated case related with the natural and wild nature of this species. We took the necessary measures in order to avoid something similar happening again. The rhino was separated and is staying in another part of the park while the fertile period of the female rhino ends.
From the statement, it seems that the reason for this behavior was related to the rhino being in heat - something that often makes wild animals act more aggressively than usual. Luckily, no one was hurt in this instance, although there will definitely be a hefty repair bill for that car! This is a good reminder that although safari parks are a safe environment, and a fantastic way to see animals in the wild, those animals live up to the ‘wild’ label at times. When traveling to a park like this one, travelers should always be aware of what to do in case of an issue with an animal, and to keep their windows rolled up and doors locked unless the park attendants give them other instructions.
Source: The Daily Mail
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