Woman survived rhino charge at Thula Thula

Thabo the orphaned White Rhino caused some mischief on Wednesday Photo - Kim McLeod

ONE Thula Thula Private Game Reserve employee is thanking her lucky stars after she survived a charge by an adult rhino bull on Wednesday.

Luckily for the woman, an Assistant Manager at the reserve’s lodge, the charge came from Thabo, a resident White Rhino that was dehorned some time ago as part of the reserve’s anti-poaching strategy.

She was taken to Life Empangeni Private Hospital for a check-up, but sustained only bruises.

Thula Thula owner Francoise Anthony confirmed the incident.

‘The incident happened close to the entrance gate. She was walking from the main house to the gate, quite a short walk, when she happened on Thabo and Ntombi, two of our orphaned rhinos who were hand reared,’ Anthony said.

Thabo suddenly charged the woman, knocking her down.

‘Fortunately two of our game rangers were nearby and with the assistance of Clifford, our security guard, they managed to chase both rhinos away.’

While rhinos attacking humans is a very rare event (fewer than two incidents are recorded on average every year), the most common reason a rhino would charge is if a female with her calf feels threatened.

In this instance, there was no calf.

‘We have a strong policy on walking outside the fenced areas,’ explained Anthony.

‘It takes an incident like this to reinforce this policy which is in place for everyone’s safety,’ she continued.

‘Although our rhinos are hand reared as orphans, they are still wild animals and that is the principle and purpose of rehabilitation once released in the game reserve.

‘Now I am going to be grounding my two darlings for being naughty!’ laughed Anthony.

ALSO READ: Rhino orphans find refuge


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Kyle Cowan

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