What? Where? When? Why? How? Charged by black rhino at Nduna Dam this morning… Because I was just too damn close for comfort. Nothing to get alarmed about, but luckily my vehicle doesn’t feel any pain…anymore, it took two hard knocks from the frustrated beast; be that as it may, besides a small hole, the vehicle doesn’t look any different (It has always been a pretty banged up bush vehicle).
I felt really sorry for the poor rhino though, she had an injury on her back leg, this is why she was hanging out right next to the dam under a shady bush. Unfortunately for me, the rhino was on the opposite side where I had no visual. “Never fear,” I said to myself, “I’ll sneak around the bush… that is surrounded by water.” So I managed to get in, but with nowhere to go and I was quite close. Staying dead still for five minutes taking pictures, the rhino began to relax and realize I was there to stay. I then broke out the video camera and was shooting arbitrary things from my door, which as I was positioned, was closest to the rhino. I then needed to get on the tripod head, so I climbed across the seats and moved into position – this all happening while the rhino was still happy with life.
I had now been there over twenty minutes and decided that this rhino was not doing anything exciting, just then a herd of buffalo came down to drink and was startled then stampeded off. I stuck around a little longer, taking my jacket off as the sun was beating down on the side of my neck. This disturbed the whole vibe of the situation, I had already received a shuffle charge so I thought that was the best she had with her injury. Boy, was I wrong! I’m thinking to myself, “it doesn’t look like she’s stopping.” Alrighty then, we took one hard knock as the rhino was shaking the vehicle and punctured the flank of the Hi-Lux. Nose sniffing and snorting up around the drivers seat, she displayed her frustration. I remember thinking there was no way I could get in the drivers seat now, plus there was nowhere for me to go, I had to let her calm herself down and I stayed dead still trying to capture the rest of the display. After the second impact, the Hi-Lux felt like a wild horse the way it was being shaken around. One last snort and shuffle in the sand and she was out of there. I was still feeling sorry for the beast trying to run while nursing the pain in its leg. She didn’t go very far and although a little shaken up, she seemed to be fine.
This all happening after I received a mock charge on foot yesterday when the scouts and I finally tracked down a black rhino in the Chimbiya area. In fact, I’ve been finding rhinos all over the show, both black and white. I’m looking for possibilities for the film I will be doing on black rhino. I’d say it turned out to be quite an exhilarating day!