Mother rhino charges at safari jeep as she protects her bleeding calf

Terrifying moment mother rhino charges at safari jeep as she protects her bleeding calf from a tiger in India

  • Dramatic footage taken by Nilesh Shah at Kaziranga National Park, India
  • The mother was protecting her calf, who had been injured by nearby tiger
  • She and calf charged at the jeep and guide forced to reverse at full speed 
  • Mr Shah said the tour were left ‘speechless’ by the chase

This is the terrifying moment a rhino mother charged at a safari jeep to help her injured calf escape from a tiger.

The dramatic footage was taken by Nilesh Shah at the beginning of March when he was on a tour through Kaziranga National Park, India. 

The protective mother and her calf, who had an injury to its chest caused by a tiger, charged towards Mr Shah, 44, which forced his guide to reverse full speed down the track.

The dramatic footage was taken by Nilesh Shah at the beginning of March when he was on a tour through Kaziranga National Park, India. The protective mother and her calf, who had an injury to its chest, then charged towards Mr Shah, 44, which forced his guide to reverse full speed down the track

Both animals were just feet away from them before they ducked into a nearby bush. 

In the moments afterwards, a different rhino was seen chasing the tiger. 

Wildlife photographer Mr Shah said: ‘We were speechless, absolutely stunned by the raw power of the chase and the fightback.’

‘From far off we saw a mother rhino and her calf running, immediately we felt something might happen and we might see a tiger soon.

‘The pair sped across the trail, disappearing in the bush right opposite. We tried to follow the trail, hopping they would reappear.

Both animals were just feet away from them before they crossed the road and ducked into a nearby bush

‘To our absolute shock and dismay, they appeared on the road right ahead of us. The pair stood head on, ready to charge.

‘The calf had a gash at its neck which was bleeding profusely so the mother rhino was in an extra protective zone and was extra aggressive.

‘In no time, it nudged the baby to run and charged at us as the tiger was chasing them.

The rhino also appeared to be chasing the tiger in the moments afterwards

‘Our driver reversed at full speed. It was a terrifying 400 metres. We were lucky we didn’t have any jeep behind us otherwise reversing would be tougher.

‘The rampaging stampede seemed interminable, and the mother was close to overturning our jeep. Our hearts were in our mouth.

‘Finally, our prayers were answered. The calf saw an opening among the bushes and darted out, thankfully the mother followed as she could not leave the injured calf alone at the mercy of a chasing tiger.’

Mr Shah often visits India’s jungles in order to take photographs of the animals.  

The 44-year-old said: ‘Normally at the beginning of March, spring engulfs the jungle and the atmosphere is soothing and completely tranquil.

‘But our tranquillity was smashed to smithereens in an instant, in the unpredictability which the jungle always beholds.

‘The entire jungle seemed to come alive and vibrate. We thought two scenarios were possible where either something had happened to the baby or the mother would have overpowered the tiger.

‘It was a few moments of silence in the jungle and suddenly the mother rhino and the calf came out on the road and crossed the roads in the bushes, then came the tiger chasing them on the same trail right across our jeep.

Wildlife photographer Mr Shah said: ‘We were speechless, absolutely stunned by the raw power of the chase and the fightback. Pictured: The calf, which had an injury to its chest 

‘Then was the most surprising part of the whole event. We were stunned to see a fully grown rhino chasing the tiger.

‘The mother and calf took advantage of their new protector and slipped away in the direction of a river nearby.

‘The tiger after few moments came back alone a number of times in search of the calf but the pair seemed to have sprinted away from its clutches.’

Mr Shah often visits India’s jungles in order to take photographs of the animals. He said:  ‘We were stunned to see a fully grown rhino chasing the tiger’

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