Dad and son, 5, ‘inches from death’ after rhino smashes into car at safari park

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Jamie Wood and son Jackson, five, were charged by a rhino in their car at West Midlands Safari Park, and the dad claims if he had been slightly further forward he could have been killed

Jamie Wood, 35, took son Jackson, five, to West Midlands Safari Park
A rhino at the safari park in Bewdley

A dad feels he and his son came within inches of being killed after a protective female rhino charged their car at a safari park and smashed up the bonnet.

Jamie Wood, 35, took son Jackson, five, to West Midlands Safari Park but what began as a fun day out turned to horror when an angry rhino took a long run up and launched herself at their Skoda Fabia.

He said how two fighting rhinos suddenly stopped and one turned on his car with a 200ft charge before attacking the bonnet, reported BirminghamLive.

Jamie was left with a £1,500 car repair bill but he was more worried about what could have happened if the rhino had got through to them in the car.

“It was absolutely terrifying,” he said.

Jamie said that the rhino charged their car and caused damage valued at £1,500
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Image:

Jamie Wood / SWNS)

Jamie said that if he had been slightly further forward then the rhino could have killed him
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Image:

Jamie Wood / SWNS)

“It happened so quickly and I didn’t know what to do. I was just in shock. I kept telling Jackson it would avoid us and then I heard myself swear when I realised it was going to hit us.

“If I’d have been a bit further forward that massive horn would have gone right through me. I’d imagine she was around four or five times the weight of the car.

“It was very traumatic and Jackson still has nightmares about it. This could happen again and could easily be fatal.”

Jamie had borrowed the car from his mum Alison Wood, 65, for the trip on October 10, and he now says that he hoped to have more sympathy from the safari park.

“I was expecting at least a refund on my tickets or a free annual pass,” he said.

The safari park said that the female rhino was being protective when she charged at the car
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Image:

Jamie Wood / SWNS)

“The staff just said: ‘well you know what a protective mother is like.’

“It’s great that they are free-roaming but maybe they should segregate mum and baby pairs so things like this don’t happen.

“I know they say you’re liable for damage to your car, but you expect a little scratch. This is very different.”

A spokesperson for West Midland Safari & Leisure Park told BirminghamLive : “As part of the safari drive through experience, many of our animals are able to roam freely between vehicles.

“This includes our herd of white rhino. Keepers in patrol vehicles are always in close attendance, to monitor all animal and vehicle movements during park opening hours for the safety of our guests.

“On the afternoon of 10 October, one of our female rhinos, whilst following her 3-month-old calf, collided with a vehicle within the African reserve.

“During the incident, our team of trained keepers in patrol vehicles attempted to guide the mother and baby rhino away from the guest’s vehicle, but unfortunately were unable to prevent the rhino from coming into contact with the vehicle.

“Trained keepers escorted the guests involved in the incident safely out of the reserves and no injuries were reported to us at the scene.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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