The rhino, Nepal 2002

These are a few pictures of an interesting event which happened one day in Patihani. There I was, minding my own business, when some villagers came along and asked me to come with them to the nearby rice fields. Intrigued, I agreed to follow them. Most of the men of the village had also gathered in the fields to see what was going on.

It was nearly time to start harvesting the rice and a rhino had strayed across the river from the Chitwan National Park and onto the rice fields. With the livelyhood of the majority of the villagers being dependant on a good harvest, the last thing they needed was this two ton juggernaut destroying their valuable crop. The rhino had to go!

So there I was, standing in a rice field, wondering what was going to happen next. Then a man started to explain to me that “this is very danger situation, but don’t be afraid. If rhino charges do not run in straight line, you need to zig zag as rhinos can only run in straight line.” At this point I started to laugh nervously to myself, wondering what I had got myself into.

On locating the rhino, the stage was set. All of a sudden, the villagers started shouting and charging at the rhino. All hell broke loose. The rhino in return started thrashing around goring at the men. At this point I took flight, running in the opposite direction across the flooded paddy fields, flip flops flying, paying no heed to the zig zag strategy previously advised.

In the end the rhino was scared off, startled but unscathed and the rice harvest saved for another year.

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