Woman in hospital after rhino attack

27 Jan 2016 20:50pm
OKAKARARA, 27 JAN (NAMPA) – A 36-year-old woman is recovering at the Okakarara State Hospital after she was attacked by a female rhinoceros at the Waterberg Plateau National Game Park Tuesday morning.
Tuli Niipele works for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism at the park as a workhand.
The Waterberg Plateau National Game Park is situated less than 30 kilometres south west of Okakarara in the Otjozondjupa Region.
Niipele sustained serious injuries on her legs, thighs, face and back.
She told Nampa on Wednesday from her hospital bed that she and two other colleagues were on Tuesday morning tracking the same rhino and its calf to identify them for administrative purposes.
She said tracking animals like rhinos is one of her tasks at the park.
“Approximately three to five metres away from us, the rhino saw us first as we approached, and it came running towards me,” she explained.
She said her two colleagues who had guns quickly climbed a tree, which she also tried to do, but the tree she climbed was small and could not hold her weight. Niipele fell to the ground and the rhino gored her with its horns.
She said one of her colleagues then broke a branch off a young tree and threw it on the back of the rhino to scare it, which worked, and the rhino fled into the nearby thick bushes.
On her part, the Otjozondjupa Regional Health Director, Maria Kavezembi on Wednesday said Niipele was in a stable condition at the hospital.
“We examined and checked her on the X-ray machine and we did not find any fractures. I can confirm she is in a stable condition,” Kavezembi said.