This is the moment a black rhino had to be rescued with a digger when it got stuck deep in a dried-up watering hole.

The critically endangered animal is believed to have waded in because of some surface water, but couldn't get out again. A staff member patrolling grounds at Phinda Private Game Reserve found the animal and instantly gathered a team to start a rescue operation.

The team used a metal bobcat digger to create a path and, after two hours of digging, the animal was finally freed. The South African KwaZulu-Natal region, where the reserve is located, is currently suffering a prolonged drought that has devastated crops and livestock. The serious water shortage means that watering holes have dried up, creating dangerous mud pits.

Simon Naylor, the conservation manager at the reserve and his team got to work straight away as the animal was clearly distressed. After considering his options – which included a helicopter rescue or pulling a rope around the animal's neck – he decided the best way to rescue the rhino was to use a digger.

This was the safest option as they also didn't want to put themselves into a dangerous situation where, if the rhino did attack, a person could not move quickly enough in the mud.

He said: 'Black rhino are big and potentially dangerous animals. We could not reach him with a rope as the mud was too thick for a human. 'I also didn't want to get close as it would stress him further and also it could be dangerous for a person to get close and not be able to move quickly in the mud if needed. 'At first, it was stressed with the machine and noise. But it calmed down and didn't show too many signs of stress or discomfort.'


Responses to "Rhino is freed with a Digger after getting trapped in dried-up watering hole "

  1. Strider54 says:

    Good job!
    btw - that isn't a bobcat, those are smaller and this is a full sized machine.

Write a comment