Residents from an upper-class residential estate in Groenvlei, Bloemfontein, were caught by surprise in Tuesday morning traffic as two rhinos, each weighing 2,4 tonnes, were spotted casually making their way to a local shopping complex.
OFM News has confirmed that the rhinos, named after a famous Zulu King and Colombian singer, belong to a well-known local wildlife estate. The owner of the estate has, owing to concerns and fears around rhino poaching, been advised not to have his premises mentioned in the media.
He tells OFM News in an interview that he was alerted of their great escape at 06:00 in the morning by a close friend, prompting him and his team to scramble out of their beds in search for the two rhinos, who coincidentally got their names – Shaka and Shakira – through an OFM competition over a decade ago. The duo had managed to get close to a local shopping complex in the course of their 20 min excursion before they were promptly apprehended.
The animals were not darted, they were merely guided back to the estate by employees whose voices they are reportedly familiar with. It is alleged that owing to the ongoing construction at the wildlife estate, the gate was left open by one of the contractors, resulting in the great escape witnessed on Tuesday morning.
Despite one or two encounters between the calm rhinos and motorists, no major incidents or damage were fortunately reported. The Zulu King and Colombian singer are now safely back at home, alongside 40 other friends in the estate. The facility stresses they are under 24-hour protection.