A rhino has been killed after it was hit by a truck in South Africa, it was revealed today.
The white rhino died in a crash in the Dinokeng Game Reserve north of the country’s capital Pretoria.
Reserve boss Dawn Robertson said the park’s staff had been left saddened by the loss of the animal, whose species is classified as ‘near threatened’.
She said: ‘This is a tragic accident and we are deeply saddened by the loss of another endangered white rhino.
‘Animal and nature conservation is at the heart of our work in the DGR and the loss of any animal is a cause for major concern.’
Officials said the male rhino had been crossing a road which runs through the reserve and is used by the public when it was hit by the lorry on Wednesday.
The Times in South Africa reported that the truck driver escaped the accident without injury.
The truck was damaged after smacking into an endangered white rhino. The driver was unhurt
The seven-year-old white rhino bull died of his injuries on the Dinokeng Game Reserve on Wednesday
Reserve boss Dawn Robertson told of her sadness after hearing of the endangered animal‘s death
Dinokeng reserve chairman Etienne Toerien said he believed the incident showed the need for motorists to drive slowly when around wildlife.
He said: ‘We often see poachers as the only threat to rhinos, but we all have a part to play in ensuring they are kept safe.
Result of a Rhino poached for its horn.
‘Motorists must stick to the speed limit and exercise caution when driving in a game reserve.’
The white rhino is one of five remaining species of rhinocerous and one of just two which are found in Africa.
The wide-mouthed mammal historically roamed freely across the continent but saw rapid population decline amid poaching and the destruction of its habitat.
The animals are now largely confined to reserves and have come under renewed threat by poachers amid a surge in the black market value of rhino horn.
The Dinokeng Game Reserve is a private wildlife park which lies near the town of Hammanskraal, around 30 miles north of Pretoria.