Rhino Friends Trot To Freedom After Perfectly Timed Zoo Escape
Three rhinoceroses at a zoo in Israel picked the perfect time to make a break from captivity last Thursday - experiencing, likely for the first time in their lives, what freedom feels like.
And, best of all, they got to experience it together.
Security camera footage at the Ramat Gan Safari in Tel Aviv shows the horned trio happily trotting through an open gate, bravely venturing into the wide world beyond. A guard can be seen briefly giving chase before realizing, perhaps, that he was helpless to halt their eager exodus.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the rhinos couldn't have planned their escape any better. Officials say that the guard on duty at the time had fallen asleep, allowing the animals to take advantage of the fact that two gates meant to hold them in had been left wide-open. (Ramat Gan considers itself a safari-style zoo - animals are allowed to roam freely in large groups on the 250-acre grounds.)
Zoo director Yehuda Bar says that, after being alerted to the situation by local police, he was able to track down the rhinos nearby, who were apparently having a pretty good time unattended.
"I found two of older female rhinos playing around with a third younger one in the parking lot," Bar told Ynet News.
Their thrilling hiatus from captivity was brief, however. Soon after, the rhinos were startled by some passing joggers (who no doubt shared the feeling), after which Bar was able to usher them back into the zoo without further incident.
This is far from the first time that animals from a zoo have decided to ditch the confined lives their keepers had in mind - and for good reason. Many exotic animals commonly held in zoos are ill-suited for life in captivity, forced to suppress their natural instincts to wander and explore.