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Pokkie’s rhino tracking stories (Part 1 of 2)

By Samara on July 10, 2012

Following the tracks of two Black Rhinos in the Karoo National Park while training two young SANParks game guides, Pokkie stopped the trainees some 100 metres from a small ravine covered in Acacia trees. He did so because they found themselves in an open veld without as much as a small rock or shrub for cover. While encouraging the trainees to “keep their eyes on the trees and their ears on the ground”, the wind shifted and started blowing directly in the direction of the ravine.

Almost instantly the two Rhinos charged out of the trees directly towards Pokkie and his trainees whom he told to stay still and to crouch behind him. The young woman did as she was told but the young man fell down on his stomach. At about 50 metres the one Rhino veered off to the left but the other kept coming. Keeping his eyes nailed on the animal Pokkie felt around him with both hands for something to throw at the animal only to find some dirt which he threw up in the air in the hope of confusing the animal. At about 20 metres to certain death he found a small round stone with his left hand, waited a second which “felt like a life time” and threw the stone, hitting the animal just below the left ear causing it to veer away missing them by” inches”. The young woman was able to get back on her feet but they had to pick up the young man and drag him for quite a distance before he could stand on his own. For hours not one of the three could utter a word which meant that the story was only capable of being told to camp officials the next day.

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