In a jungle safari, there are very rare incidents of wild animals attacking the spectators, who visit them and capture their presence amidst the jungles from a distance. However, the moment you intrude on their personal space, the animals can come into attacking mode. Something like this recently happened in a jungle safari park, in which a rhinoceros attacked a safari vehicle carrying six people.
In an incident reported from Jaldapara National Park in Alipurduar, West Bengal, a rhinoceros charged at a jungle safari vehicle with six people on board. In a video of the whole incident, which is going viral on the internet, a Maruti Suzuki Gypsy is seen very close to two rhinoceros, who appear to be hiding behind the bushes.
However, after sensing a threat to their personal space, one of the rhinoceros started approaching the Gypsy carrying six people, which was accompanied by two other safari vehicles ahead of it. The rhinoceros then aggressively ran towards the safari vehicle. The driver of the Gypsy reversed in panic and fell into a ditch which caused the car to topple, leaving all seven occupants including the driver injured in the incident. There was no contact between made by the Rhino and the car. The other safari jeeps were spotted tracking back to help the victims.
After attacking the safari vehicle, the mother rhinoceros, which attacked the vehicle, ran into the grassland along with her calf, leaving the safari vehicle and its occupants in it behind. Fortunately, the rhinos didn’t return to attack the spectators a second time, which could have led to fatal consequences.
According to the tourist guide, who was one of the occupants in the vehicle, all were clicking and taking videos of the rhinos. The animals wanted to cross the road but were unable to do so due to the safari vehicles assembled near them.
After a few minutes of the attack, when the rhinoceroses vanished into the grassland, all the tourists were shifted to other safari vehicles which were accompanying them. The injured tourists were then taken to the nearby hospital for preliminary treatment.
Jungle safari organiser being investigated
This unfortunate incident even caught the eyes of officials, who have started an investigation against the irresponsible conduction of the jungle safari. The video, which is going viral on the internet, is also catching the attention of other netizens, who are calling out the negligence of the safari conductors. Some have pointed out the zero safety standards followed during the safari.
One of the largest habitats of rhinoceros in India, Jaldapara National Park is home to around 300 one-horned rhinoceros, who usually are not that aggressive to attack the spectators. However, in the video, we can see that the safari vehicle was very close to the two rhinos, thus intruding into their private space. Wild animals usually attack people and other animals who attack their privacy or territory.
The incidents have become quite common, especially after tourists started flocking back to such places after the COVID lockdowns.
Similar attacks in Kaziranga
A few weeks ago, similar attacks were reported from Assam. The videos show Rhinoceros chasing a convoy for about three kilometres before disappearing back into the forest. The incident was captured by a tourist who was also part of the group and was widely shared on social media handles. The incidents have become quite common, especially after tourists started flocking back to such places after the COVID lockdowns.
Rhinos are our special friends; we’ll not allow any infringement on their space.
In this unfortunate incident at Haldibari the Rhino survived; vehicle intercepted & fined. Meanwhile in our resolve to save animals at Kaziranga we’re working on a special 32-km elevated corridor. pic.twitter.com/z2aOPKgHsx
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) October 9, 2022
Despite strict guidelines to follow speed limits in such sensitive areas, enforcement agencies do not enforce these limits. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted last year and informed that a rhinoceros got hit by a speeding truck and survived in Kaziranga. Sarma said that the truck was intercepted and a challan was issued. He also said that the government is working on a special “32 km elevated corridor”.