My young sons are traumatised after RHINOS smashed up our car as they cowered inside at a safari park…we were terrified | The Sun
TWO young boys have been left traumatised after two randy rhinos smashed up their mum's car while they cowered inside during a trip to a safari park.
Stacey Gormley, 32, was enjoying a day out with her sons at West Midlands Safari Park on Monday when two rhinos charged at the car.
Seven-year-old Buddy and one-year-old Boden were enjoying the wild animal enclosure when a 1.6ton female rhino was being chased by a randy male rhino trying to get frisky.
The two huge beasts then collided with Stacey's black Nissan.
The female rammed its horn and body into the bonnet of the car while the male shunted the vehicle back several feet.
A park ranger in a jeep tried diverting the rhinos but was too late as they caused a dent in Stacey's bonnet, damaged a headlight, tore off the bumper and left horn marks.
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Stacey, from Warndon, Worcester, said the car is written off and has had to make a claim with her insurance company.
"Two rhinos were being chased by a safari jeep and they were running onto the tracks," the mum said.
"I just thought, they're coming, they're coming, it made me feel sick at the time.
"I desperately tried to put the car into reverse to get out of their way but they charging towards us so fast. It was terrifying.
"It was like a scene from Jurassic Park. The wheels were skidding but I couldn't get out of the way in time.
"The first rhino hit the car and I have horn marks on my car and the second one skidded into my car.
"My seven-year-old was in the front seat so saw everything and was very shaken up by it.
"It's traumatic, it plays on the minds of little ones.
"Luckily we're okay. I have not been able to sleep, I keep thinking 'what if' because it could have been a lot worse."
Bosses at the safari park offered Stacey and her family four free tickets but the mum said if she were to take her children again she would feel nervous.
"The female rhino was in season so that's why the male rhino was chasing her," Stacey added.
"The safari park is not claiming liability which is fair enough, but the jeep was chasing the rhinos.
"Should an in-season rhino be left out in a family safari park?
"My seven-year-old keeps talking about it and going on about what happened, they gave us four free tickets, but I don't think he'll want to go back anytime soon.
"If we were to go again, I would feel quite nervous but I know what time the rhinos come out, so I would like to avoid them.
"It wasn't a very nice thing to go through.
"It was the last day of the holidays, so I thought I would take them to the safari park, we go quite a lot, we go five or six times a year.
"It's a shame because it's a lovely day out.
"My little boys love animals and it's quite hard to keep a one-year-old and a seven-year-old occupied."
A spokesperson for the park said: "As part of the safari drive-through experience, many of our animals are able to roam freely between vehicles and this includes our herd of white rhino.
"Keepers in patrol vehicles are always in close attendance, to monitor all animal and vehicle movements for the safety of our guests.
"We do state that guests drive their own vehicles at their own risk and these T&Cs are required to be accepted at the time of booking tickets.
"We do offer guided minibus tours for those people who do not wish to enter the safari in their own vehicle.
"On September 5, one of our female rhinos collided with a vehicle within the African reserve.
"During the incident, our team of trained keepers in patrol vehicles attempted to guide the rhinos away, but unfortunately were unable to prevent the rhino from coming into contact with the car.
"The guests reported there were no injuries which is always our main priority, and following this, they continued their safari drive-through experience."
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