A 24-year-old South African student is in an intensive care unit after she was gored by a rhinoceros after being told to stand closer to the animals, which can weigh several thousand pounds.
Chantal Beyer, 24, a student from Johannesburg, was directed to get out of the safari vehicle by game park owner Alex Richter, according to the Afrikaans-language newspaper Beeld.
“There were quite a few young people on the vehicle and they probably felt they could trust Richter, who was an adult,” Beyer’s uncle and family spokesman Thom Peeters told the newspaper.
Beyer was with her husband and a few other people on a game drive in The Aloe Ridge Hotel and Nature Reserve near Muldersdrift, South Africa. The group took turns to take photos in front of the rhinos, including one just before the animal attacked Beyer from behind.
Beyer is currently at Krugersdorp Hospital’s ICU in Roodepoort, South Africa, and is stable, Beeld reported. Her right lung has collapsed and a few of her ribs were broken, the uncle said.
The Aloe Ridge Hotel and Nature Reserve, about 25 miles from Johannesburg, says it offers “a true African safari experience” by taking guests close to animals. Rhinos are listed on the company website as one of 15 “species sighted at close range” on the game drive.