Some wild animals can turn the tables on you in a split second. That’s what two rhinos did to a group of tourists on a recent outing in India. According to India Today NE, the tourists were on a safari in Jaldapara National Park in North Bengal on February 25 when they spotted two rhinoceroses fighting in the bushes next to the dirt road. The tourists watched and filmed the critters—until the rhinos shifted their focus.
A video posted on Twitter by Akash Deep Badhawan shows the intense series of events that followed. The rhinos emerge out of the bushes—running full-tilt at one of the safari jeeps. The video was recorded by someone in a second jeep. The drivers of both jeeps shift into reverse and hit the gas. But the rhinos—despite being pretty damn bulky—show impressive speed. One of the rhinos appears to hit, or at least come really close to the front jeep, which then tilts off the side of the road and rolls over in a scary crash.
I think it’s about time guidelines for safety and rescue in adventure sports are implemented in wildlife safaris across the country. Safaris are becoming more of adventure sports now!
Jaldapara today! pic.twitter.com/ISrfeyzqXt
— Akash Deep Badhawan, IFS (@aakashbadhawan) February 25, 2023
Seven tourists were injured in the incident. Two of them were seriously injured and were transferred to a district hospital from a local medical center. According to India Today NE, local forest service officials say that until now, there have never been reports of rhinoceroses charging at a tourist vehicle in the area.
The greater one-horned rhino, or Indian rhino, was once widespread across India, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The species’ population plummeted by the early 1900s but has since somewhat recovered. There are currently around 3,700 rhinos in northeastern India and parts of Nepal. According to the WWF, greater one-horned rhinos “reportedly kill several people each year in India and Nepal.”
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“Fortunately, no one has been killed,” said Kamal Gazi, who was driving the jeep in the recent incident. He suffered minor injuries. “Things could have been worse.