Watch Three Rhinos Dash Through an Open Zoo Gate After Guard Falls Asleep

Footage from a safari park in Israel shows the animals strolling to freedom.
Jan 11, 2015·
Kristina Bravo is Assistant Editor at TakePart.

A trio of white rhinos recently taught a zoo security guard workplace lesson No. 1: Don’t fall asleep on the job.

Rihanna, Keren Peles, and Karnival—ungulate residents of the Safari Ramat Gan, a 247-acre simulated habitat in a national park in Tel Aviv, Israel—made a run for it when the gate of their enclosure and the facility’s entryway were left open. Details remain unclear, but a zoo spokesperson told The Jerusalem Post that the security guard responsible for the animals nodded off.

After receiving a tip, police arrived at the zoo’s parking lot, where they stopped the rhinos with a roadblock and helped the safari staff drive them back to the park. The rhinos were outside for about 10 minutes.

Southern white rhinos have been a major conservation success, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Thanks to hunters who targeted their horns, the animals were considered extinct a century ago until a small population was found in South Africa. Decades of protection revived their numbers, and today about 20,000 survive in protected areas. The bad news: They’re the only non-endangered rhinos. Last October, a northern white rhino’s death brought that species’ population down to six. Poachers over the past few years have been killing the animals in record numbers, even in national parks.