Attacked woman told to get closer to rhino

2013-01-15 08:52

Johannesburg - A young West Rand student who was attacked by a rhino at the weekend was reportedly advised by the game park owner to move closer to the animals to pose for pictures.

This happened just moments before she was impaled and seriously injured, Beeld reported on Tuesday.

Chantal Beyer, 24, who is in the intensive care unit of the Krugersdorp Private Clinic, told her uncle, Thom Peeters, that game park owner Alex Richter had snapped pictures of her just seconds before the accident, and that he had suggested she should "stand just a little bit closer".

Peeters said the rhino's horn had penetrated Beyers' chest from behind, on the right, almost exiting through her shoulder and resulting in a collapsed lung and broken ribs.

Beyer, a BCom student, was still in ICU but was said to be in a stable condition.

She was on a game drive with nine other people at the Aloe Ridge hotel and nature reserve in Muldersdrift when Richter stopped near two rhino.

He reportedly used mieliepap to coax the rhino towards them, then told his guests they could get out of the car to take pictures, as it was completely safe but some of the visitors had decided to remain in the vehicle.

“There were quite a lot of young people on the vehicle and they probably felt they could trust Richter, who was an adult,” said Peeters.

When Beeld visited Aloe Ridge on Monday, Richter declined to comment, then got into his car and drove away.

  • johnny.better.12 - 2013-01-15 08:58

    There are no pills for stupidity. It is a WILD animal, it will always be a WILD animal. I have never in my life heard of anyone doing this. Hope she recovers soon.

      firstseed.mbeva - 2013-01-15 09:31

      It reminds me of a motorist who bumped on another car then blamed the car guard who was assisting him to reverse

      motlalepula.sompane - 2013-01-15 10:01

      apparently Rhinos are peaceful, and their horns are pierce-full

      de.stig.9 - 2013-01-15 10:05

      she wont pose next to rhino again

      thabang.bonang.7 - 2013-01-15 10:59

      Few years ago I was adviced by the game range to take a photo sitting on the back of a crocodile. I trusted the guy and did it. It is one of my most beautiful photos. I would recommend it for anyone.

      gideon.walt - 2013-01-15 11:21

      Smart people out smart each other, stupid people do stupid things

      abner.malema - 2013-01-15 11:47

      She must sue the Game Owner

      grant.callaway.50 - 2013-01-15 13:48

      Very irresponsible by the game park owner... but if you live in SA, you HAVE to know enough about animals to know for yourself that Rhino's are dangerous!! We arent taking about some ignorant American, who has never known anything but kittens!!

      richard.winterton - 2013-01-15 15:22

      If you go to someones house and they tell you don't worry my dogs won't bite and they do bite you, who's to blame? When I was young we went to a farm where the rhinos were tame and I stroked them, so you do get tame rhinos. If the game ranger tells you they're ok they won't hurt you, you tend to trust him!

      grant.callaway.50 - 2013-01-15 17:15

      @Richy - dogs are domestic animals. They are animals known to be (generally) tame. Rhino's are wild animals! As with lions, bears and elephants, no matter how "tame" they become, they have always been known to never be fully tamed - always risking attack and their handlers. As an example, there was once this crash (herd) of Rino that was thought to be tame, that attacked and impaled a young girl who was posing for a photo... Seriously people!!!

      werner.pretorius.927 - 2013-01-16 10:35

      Well there are pills for stupidity... But they're the size of dinner plates and you have to swallow them whole... :-)

      sharmay.thuynsma - 2013-01-16 18:19

      If someone tells you their dog is domesticated and you can touch it, would you believe them? These rhino were eating pap out of the owners hand. It's a lesson hard learned for Chantel but the owner should be held responsible for the safety of his group and is thus liable for the injury caused. He should have thought before he encouraged them to get out and mingle with the rhino. I hope she gets well soon and my thoughts go out to her and her family.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2013-01-18 10:05

      if these where foreign visitors, say from the US, UK or anywhere for that matters that have only seen Rhinos in a picture with a caption from China or Korea telling the good properties of the horn, i may have been a little more sympathetic. these were South Africans and should have known better

  • leslie.rabie - 2013-01-15 08:59

    that is the stupidest thing I have EVER heard!! I hope you sue!

      jessie.bezuidenhout - 2013-01-15 09:32

      She probably signed an indemnity form............

      franklyn.davies.1 - 2013-01-15 09:37

      jeez,why do we always treat these animals like pets....soon we will be knitting them booties.

      leslie.rabie - 2013-01-15 10:28

      She was put into harms way by the ranger, then the indemnity form does not count. The safety of your guest comes first.

      johan.mostert.967 - 2013-01-15 15:06

      @jessie, there is a big difference between not be able to hold the party liable for something like a freak accident and a employee putting a guest in danger on purpose. She will have a very good case in court.

      koo.doyle - 2013-01-16 07:28

      Come on! Surely common sense is a factor here? Anyone with a brain knows that rhino can be dangerous, and that its bloody stupid to get too close? If the game ranger told her to stick her head in a fire would she have done that too? This culture of absolute refusal to take responsibility for our own actions is pathetic.

      koo.doyle - 2013-01-16 12:08

      Who cares? "Get a little closer to the Rhino" um... NO. Let common sense prevail for goodness sake. Unless of course it was the owner's assertion that the animal was quite tame...?

      Lori Fanckboner Otten - 2013-04-05 05:38

      jessie.bezuidenhout don't you mean and indemnity 'horn'?????

  • ljibucher - 2013-01-15 09:00

    Well done news24 - post a photo of rhinos with their horns and the name of where they are - think with all the poaching the news reporters would have a little more savvy than that - very sad!

      keighleyann.bell - 2013-01-15 09:45

      That is EXACTLY what I thought...irresponsible journalism in it's stupidest form!

      peter.braat - 2013-01-15 10:36

      Poachers don't need news24 to find out where the rhinos are. Reserves like that advertise it as part of their PR. The owner making them 'trust' humans at close range might be making a potential poacher's job easier though...

      napolita.kio - 2013-01-15 13:05

      Right, because the poachers are so dumb to not know where to find rhinos; wow, good one.!

      stephen.haynes.9237 - 2013-01-15 17:19

      Don't shoot the messenger! It's not News24's fault! It's better that we all know where the stupid ranger works so we can avoid the place.

  • gareth.coats - 2013-01-15 09:01

    Ordinarily I'd say something like "Well what did you expect? This wild animal would come over, roll on it's side and beg for a tummy tickle?". But in this case, you trust the owner as an expert. Pity the Rhino didn't attack Richter instead. Get well soon

      dracolusus - 2013-01-15 13:06

      I'm sorry, but I don't care who tells me what. I know from a very young age, and holidaying in game NEVER climb out the car.

  • ljibucher - 2013-01-15 09:02

    and I dont know who is sillier - the person that told them to pose so close, or the people who did it :/ and they seem to be South Africans on top of it! Either way - hope she recovers and ppl learn to let wild animals be!

      jackie.m.dickson - 2013-01-15 10:04

      I think they are both stupid. Surely the "owner" shouldnt be so thick as to put a member of the public in such a situation? Wild animals stay wild no matter how much mielie pap you feed them.

      debinikita - 2013-01-15 11:13

      My point exactly!

      zapadela.tistarocha - 2013-01-15 17:56

      Unfortunately someone else got the point as well, Checkout the Pic, The Guy placed his girlfriend between himself and the Rhino....

  • ohbizz.chabata - 2013-01-15 09:11

    Hehehe with all the poaching of rhinos that has been goin on I see why these animals would defend themselves (not attack) when they sense a potential attack. The millie pap trick has left many of them dehorned. As for “There were quite a lot of young people on the vehicle and they probably felt they could trust Richter, who was an adult,” said Peeters. That's just nonsense. Last I checked a 24 year old was a full adult who could reason on their own. Besides I doubt that a 'suggestion' to move closer to a wild animal could ever be deemed to be advice or an order because one can simply decline. She wanted to get a dangerous shot and she got just that...unfortunate as the consequence has been

      byron.goldberg.9 - 2013-01-15 09:35

      although I agree with you, it is the job of the game ranger to provide safe advice and to ensure the safety of his/her clients.... In a Australia tourists got eaten because their guide said it was safe for them to swim in a billabong and crocodiles in it... If an engineer can be prosecuted for an unsafe design then a game ranger should be able to be prosecuted for unsafe advice and not taking the correct precautions for his clients...

      ohbizz.chabata - 2013-01-15 10:08

      All I am saying is being told you can / may get out of a safe zone to take snaps of yourself next to a wild animal cannot be deemed to absolve you of the risk you will subject yourself to if sheeeet was to hit the fan. It is a no brainer (atleast to a 24 year old adult) that a game ranger cant accurately predict the behaviour of a wild animal. Thus once u get out of the vehicle which is in the vicinity of such wild animals u assume the risk associated with such. In the few safaris I have gone, I have noticed that tourists tend play dangerously and sometimes even coax the rangers to take them nearer to the danger. Question then is what happens when the risk of danger actually plays itself into reality?

  • dianne.neyt - 2013-01-15 09:11

    This man is an idiot for putting this young ladies life at risk. I hope she sues the sh*t out of him. Best wishes for a speedy recovery Chantal.

      zapadela.tistarocha - 2013-01-15 17:57

      Sue herself for stupidity is the only case here...........

      sharmay.thuynsma - 2013-01-16 18:22

      trusting someone with your life and them dropping you in the lurch is a VERY good reason to sue. Is he even a qualified ranger?

      jacobus.m.vantonder - 2013-01-16 22:54

      @Sharmay, no his not, he is also the guy some years ago, and we all know of the shootings at hot air balloons, well he was the guy who did it.. I know I worked there, there i slots of stories of Alex and they aren't good ones.

  • lisa.brathwaite.756 - 2013-01-15 09:14

    So if I told her to jump off a bridge would she have done it? I'm 10 years her senior so from this article she would listen to me. How stupid can you be?

  • richard.barrett.739 - 2013-01-15 09:17

    sorry to say this but any person who climbs out of the vehicle to pose with a rhino is stupid no matter what the animal it is still wild , would you pose next to a lion or a bear NO

  • corrupt.anc.3 - 2013-01-15 09:24

    Good grief! Look how close they are to the rhino! I am an avid game viewer in parks and anyone who is would know you do not do something this stupid. I think Richter should be charged with attempted murder. Then this girl and her boyfriend should be expelled from University because they're clearly not the brightest.

  • kofi.ghanaman - 2013-01-15 09:41

    Where was the the guy? This shows that the arm of flesh will fail you. Only wisdom will keep you.

  • kofi.ghanaman - 2013-01-15 09:43

    Just look carefully into the eye of that beast.It is that very one that did the thing.

      sekalf.nroc - 2013-01-15 09:54

      what are you trying to say? Maybe try again - in you home language!

  • keighleyann.bell - 2013-01-15 09:48

    Frankly, the game ranger should have the rhinos taken away from him! Obviously he doesn't care for the animals' safety, I would be interested to know what his security measures are in order to keep them alive and safe from poachers. That being said, I'm disappointed in the News24, this type of irresponsible journalism should be very quickly nipped in the bud, especially in light of the current devastation being done to our rhino population. There should be a moratorium on all mentions of game farms and where rhinos are located. It has come to this unfortunately, and we need to do everything in our power to protect these magnificent animals!

  • linda.duits - 2013-01-15 09:55

    Doff Humans!

  • annerie.m.coetzee - 2013-01-15 09:59

    Let us wait for next weeks news.....Same Rhino's poached for their horns.....Cause our journalists gave the name of the Reserve! Eish, these people are toooo Cleva!!! And the Sudent...hope You recover soon! Don't give up your studies....Next time someone tells you to do something like this, think First.

  • marc.moon.10 - 2013-01-15 10:03

    i would really think that a rino would run away from people... i'm surprised they even cam close to them...

      brandon.eastes.1 - 2013-01-16 12:15

      milie pap bru mielie pap

  • chantal.lawrieross - 2013-01-15 10:03

    One of the stupidest things I have heard and seen! Look how close she was to the rhino in the photo. Shocked at the stupidity

  • james.strawson.9 - 2013-01-15 10:15

    If I tell you to put your finger in the fire will you do it?

  • Zaid - 2013-01-15 10:16

    Was at the same game reserve in December last year and took a similar pic, in hindsight it was stupid. All the best to the young lady and her family

  • lande.willemse - 2013-01-15 10:21

    What an idiot - the owner, not the girl

      zapadela.tistarocha - 2013-01-15 17:58

      Both parties are senile at the very least..........

  • nelia.liebenberg.1 - 2013-01-15 10:21

    Even though the owner had told this lady to stand closer to the rhino, she should have used her commonsense and stayed on the vehicle. She is 24, not 4.

  • ckreunen - 2013-01-15 10:48

    what an idiot, did he not turn the public's attention to the signs along the tar road that read "DO NOT LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE" .... I would make this fool liable for the medical costs.

  • cranky.cherry - 2013-01-15 10:51

    Darwin Award comes to mind.

  • colin.sachs.9 - 2013-01-15 11:08

    I love the way the boyfriend, is standing on the "safe side" :)

  • Pete7930 - 2013-01-15 11:11

    Rhinos are known to have poor eyesight but they are NOT blind!!!! Get too close and you will get whats deserving from a wild animal protecting territory. Richter you are an idiot and should sell your game farm before the law sues your ass!!

  • debinikita - 2013-01-15 11:12

    Seriously... How stupid people can be.. South Africans should know better!

  • swanepoeldeon - 2013-01-15 12:19

    Only Peter Braat speaks sense on this blog. All the other comments are poppycock subjective mumblings brought about by emotional detritus piled high as rhino manure in peoples heads. And Johnny .Better is quite right it will always be a wild animal. Yet a young girl is in ICU and people makes comments about her common sense? More subjective detritus mumblings. Really if ppl have not any constructive words to add, then do all the world a favour and refrain.

  • nst.nyawo - 2013-01-15 12:27

    Stupid gal

  • Jane - 2013-01-15 12:34

    When will people learn, these are wild animals! What a retarded, Alex Richter should be sued. How on earth can you tell people to go and stand next to a rhino? Wild animals will never be completely tame, even if they are hand reared.

  • cathy.vanvollenstee - 2013-01-15 12:52

    If this is true there are enough witnesses for a charge to be laid against the ranger! Since when do rhino's eat mieliepap? Luring a wild animal and then telling your guests it is safe to get out of the vehicle for a photo... Just plain stupid!!!

      sharmay.thuynsma - 2013-01-16 18:29

      Apparently he was really encouraging people to get out of the vehicle and showing them that the rhinos were eating out of his hand. Plenty of witnesses too... I work with one of her uncle and had a chat with him about this. News24 and most of the comments here do not do the situation justice and if anything, show the cruelty that people have for others that have been in an unfortunate situation. The owner is at fault for taking his game drive clients and putting them at risk to show off. Chantel was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I hope she gets better soon.

  • enid.matthews - 2013-01-15 13:11

    No matter how tame they say a wild animal is, the fact remains its still a WILD animal. You would think a game ranger would no better. I hope she has a speedy recovery.

  • enid.matthews - 2013-01-15 13:17

    No matter how tame they say a wild animal is, the fact remains its still a WILD animal. You would think a game ranger would know better. I hope she has a speedy recovery.

      jacobus.m.vantonder - 2013-01-16 22:59

      He is not a "ranger", he owns the place after his dad past away.. he should not even take people out on drives, rules and regulations.

  • william.bromehead - 2013-01-15 14:02

    how many times have I said not to treat wild animals as pets if feel threatened they will attack you looking at the out fit the woman was wearing the pattern of black and white squares could be hard to assimilate by the rhino visually causing confusion which triggered attack

  • willa.prinsloo - 2013-01-15 14:36

    so here she was on the horns of a dilemma - do you trust the guide, or your common sense ? Then eveything went hornibly wrong.

  • berylwa - 2013-01-15 15:40

    I am not sure why everyone is worried about the future safety of the rhinos, because there is probably going to be a public outcry and the poor animals shot anyway because "they pose a danger to humans". Quite frankly, I would think the owner/manager of the animals should be the target!

  • Nakkie69 - 2013-01-15 15:49

    One cannot cater for stupidity. I wonder if she would have jumper in a fire if somebody told her it would be safe. None-the-less. it is tragic and i hope the lady recovers quickly.

  • heather.watridge - 2013-01-15 15:56

    Richter should be punished or fired from his job as a game ranger. What a stupid thing to tell his clients. How important is the indemnity form one signs or is it not worth the paper it was signed on. Any legal eagles out there. Tell us.

  • heather.watridge - 2013-01-15 16:00

    What happened to the Rhino?

  • neil.lovegrove - 2013-01-15 16:00

    Sue them stukkend girl

  • gillian.sanderson - 2013-01-15 16:11

    OMG! This Richter character has a lot to answer for! Idiot! If i'm not mistaken it was his father who once owned Heia Safari? - If thats the case you'd think he would know better!

  • sosm1 - 2013-01-15 17:01

    Yesterday someone asked what race was the victim..there you have it in the picture! She was most probably attacked by a Black Rhino, as Black Rhinos would charge at anything that is white...& likewise with the White Rhinos(would attack at anything that is black)...& that's South Africa for you!

  • michael.dexter3 - 2013-01-15 22:54

    Maybe the rhino thought she was going to unscrew his horn.

  • albert.chikadaya - 2013-01-15 23:52

    It reminds me of people that keep snakes in their houses and when they emigrate to Australia or NZ they just set them free in the neighbourhood.

  • rohin.jadin - 2013-01-16 00:09


  • christopher.koulouris - 2013-01-16 01:51

    There is a reason why these animals are called wild beasts and pretending otherwise no matter how genteel the animals appear betrays the essence of what actually goes on in nature…

  • darrell.maclennan - 2013-01-16 08:25

    Eish - game ranger needs to be fired! Under NO circumstances do you ever stand anywhere near a Rhino unless it is behind bars! They are not cuddly teddy bears!

  • deon.vantonder.77 - 2013-01-16 08:46

    Shows you, too much Rhino horn can kill you

  • stouksie - 2013-01-16 09:38

    i wonder what happend to the guy in the picture!! did he run away n left her there?

  • nathan.barnes.503 - 2013-01-16 10:19

    If you look at the picture carefully you can see the Rhino's horn just beginning to enter the picture. It's a sign that these people are too close already. Rhinos are territorial and will attack anything that stays on their territory for too long.

  • Kevin - 2013-01-16 10:28

    LAST comment from an EX game ranger " get closer - they won't worry about you" !!!!!!! F...KING IDIOT