A trio of rhinos managed to escape the Ramat Gan Safari Park in the Tel Aviv district of western Israel recently after a security guard nodded off, and the unusual incident was captured by security cameras.
A young female rhino named Rihanna, along with two others named Keren Peles and Karnivala, managed to walk out of the park’s front entrance after the guard fell asleep, failing to notice the escape. Though another zoo employee set off after the rhinos, according to the Daily Mail, it was already too late to stop the trio.
Police initially reacted to reports of the rhinos on the loose with incredulity, according to the Mirror, before realizing the truth of the situation. Setting up a roadblock, authorities were able to prevent the rhinos from escaping further. After corralling the animals, zoo employees aided in herding the rhinos back into the safari park.
According to police, the trio only made it as far as a nearby car park. The white rhinos were returned to the safari park without incident following the escape, and according to zoo spokeswoman Sagit Horowitz, their adventure was brief.
— PROTECT ALL WILDLIFE (@Protect_Wldlife) January 8, 2015
“Overall, the rhinos were outside about 10 minutes, in which they were in the parking lot adjacent to the entrance and did not enter the national park.”
An investigation into the escape has been launched, in an effort to determine why both the gate to the rhinos’ enclosure and the park’s main gate were left open. The security guard responsible for monitoring the rhinos has been relieved of his duties.
— Steve Clark (@steveclarkuk) January 7, 2015
The southern subspecies of white rhinos, of which the trio are specimens, have made a stunning comeback since being hunted to the edge of extinction in the early 20th century. The northern subspecies, however, has not fared as well, and only five individuals are known to remain in the world, all in captivity. Last month, a sixth northern white rhino, which was held in the San Diego Zoo, died at the age of 44, as the Inquisitr previously reported.
The Ramat Gan Safari Park has kept southern white rhinos since 1978, and in that time, 17 calves have been bred there. It is not known whether any other rhinos have ever managed to mount a similar escape in the past.
[Image via the Daily Mail]