Footage has emerged online showing a rare display of road rage by an angry black rhino at a safari park in Namibia, southwest Africa. The video shows a massive black rhino charging across safari grassland onto a dusty road and ramming a parked Toyota truck carrying frightened tourists.
The rare incident was captured on camera by another tourist who had been filming the rhino before the display of road rage.
The tourist, Alexandra Poier, 48, had been sitting in a nearby car on a dusty road at the Etosha National Park in Namibia, filming the massive beast strolling along leisurely on safari grassland. As the rhino walked along, it noticed a white Toyota truck parked on the dusty road a few yards from Poier's car.
The animal advanced towards the vehicle. Its body language as it trotted towards the vehicle suggested that it felt threatened. It picked up its pace and broke into a run as it approached the Toyota. Lowering its head, it charged and smashed with its horn into the side of the vehicle as the tourists inside watched in horror.
The vehicle swayed and buckled under the impact but fortunately remained upright.
The beast then took a few steps back, stopped and lunged forward in a threatening gesture but did not ram the vehicle a second time.
Shocked by the ferocity of the unprovoked attack, Poier lowered her camera. She said that after the threatening gesture, the animal wandered away to another car parked nearby. And after having inspected the second car and determined that it was not a threat, it wandered off onto the grassland without further incident.
Poier said the tourists inside the Toyota escaped from the car unhurt, but they were shaken terribly by the unexpected assault on their vehicle.
The tourists left the scene in a hurry after the rhinoceros sauntered away. The guide tried to calm the frightened tourists, saying that the incident was very unusual.
"I think the rhino saw a threat and that is why he attacked," Poier said. "To be honest, I was quite scared because it could have been our car. It happened very quickly and suddenly. After he went to the side of our car we left quickly. The tour guide said this was a rare event."The black rhinoceros, native to southern and eastern Africa, is considered an endangered species. Several live on the Etosha National Park in Namibia covering about 8,600 square miles.
Black rhinos are noted for aggressiveness and ferocity. Although the male black rhino is not known to be pronouncedly territorial, it is typically extremely aggressive and will charge at speeds of up to 35 mph at practically anything it perceives as a threat. Black rhinos have been observed charging into termite mounds and even tree trunks. Because of their unusual aggressiveness, black rhinos often get involved in deadly combats. They record the highest mortality rates among large mammals due to intraspecies combat, with up to 50 percent of males dying due to injuries sustained during combat with other rhinos.
The Etosha National Park is a popular game reserve in northwestern Namibia established in 1907. It covers an area of 22,270 square kilometers (8,600 Square miles). It is home to a wide variety of wild large animal species, including mammals, reptiles, and birds. The black rhinoceros, also known as the hook-lipped rhinoceros, is a major tourist attraction at the park.
The species is classified as critically endangered.
[Image via Shutterstock]