Newlyweds in horror rhino-goring accident

2013-01-19 00:00

THE rhino gored her and shook her back and forth, the injured Chantal Weyer’s husband, Zven Fouche, said yesterday.

Weyer (24) was attacked during a honeymoon game drive at the Aloe Ridge game reserve near Johannesburg when the owner, Alex Richter, encouraged them to get out of the vehicle and stand near two rhinos to take photographs.

“Chantal was hesitant, because she’s scared of things like that. Richter told us it was completely safe. He even said we should stand closer to the rhinos, so the vehicle wouldn’t be in the frame,” said Fouche.

The couple got out of the vehicle after four other people and gave their camera to Richter.

After he had taken one picture, he took a few steps backwards, said Fouche.

“His eyes widened and he stepped back.” Fouche said he saw the panic in Richter’s eyes.

“When I turned round and saw the rhino bull right behind me, it was already too late.”

Within seconds, the rhino’s horn had pierced Weyer under the right breast and emerged near her shoulder. It threw her in the air, Fouche added.

“When the rhino shook its head, Chantal shook. I thought the horn was just under her shirt.”

He dragged Weyer under the game drive vehicle because he was scared the rhino would trample her. Richter was already in the vehicle.

“Chantal and I climbed back in the vehicle and she began to gasp for breath,” he said.

He asked her if he could see where her clothes were torn. When she took her hand off the wound, blood spurted out.

“I never had such a shock before. She couldn’t talk, she could hardly breathe,” he said.

At the hotel, Fouche said he asked Richter for the first aid kit, but Richter just shook his head and walked away.

Another staff member told him there was no first aid kit. An ambulance was called and Weyer was taken to hospital, where doctors found she had a collapsed lung, several broken ribs and internal bleeding.

“The worst was when I had to phone her mother and tell her I had failed as her husband to protect her.

“How do you come to terms with that?” asked Fouche.

Weyer was discharged from hospital yesterday, but was still struggling to speak.

The couple were married just a month ago. The trip to the game reserve was their honeymoon.

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