February 23, 2009

Rhino encounter on Trails course

The snap of fingers brought us all to a dead stop. Ahead of us and to our right walking away approximately 100m was a very large White Rhino with a large calf in tow. The two animals were quite content in their direction not having a clue we were in the area. This was until of course they looked up and saw the Land Rover parked in their path. This caused a bit of consternation as the mother turned and trotted off tail curled up over her rump.
“Trotted off” was probably not the correct term to use as it was very short lived? She turned again heading, still away, but now at a right angle to our position. Another quick turn and she was heading straight towards us from about 50m. Again she turned aiming in a different direction only to pivot and come straight our way once again.
Paul Viljoen (Trail Leader & student) was out front and in the open, with Jeff (ET back-up) sticking to him like glue. I shouted for everybody to get behind the little cover there was in the form of a small Silver Cluster Leaf bush but the female was on us before anybody could move. As it so happened with the way she had turned I was now in the front facing her first as she raced down onto us. In one motion I was shouting, chambering a round and taking aim on her mighty forehead. (Hard not to aim at the forehead when your whole field of view is her head)

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