Rhinos are remarkable animals with fearsome reputations. And with good reason: these holdovers from an earlier epoch are living, breathing tanks. They can weigh more than one ton and have hides that are thick enough to stop bullets. But unfortunately, they are also extremely endangered due to poachers who kill the animals for their horns, which are used in folk remedies by superstitious people.

Well, we just found an awesome video clip of an African rhino that needed a good belly rub. So she walks right up to a documentary filmmaker and gets one. You are going to love this video when you watch it.

Garth de Bruno Austin is a documentary filmmaker and wildlife conservationist. He has been working on a film about rhinos for eight years and has grown very familiar with the gentle giants.

He said “’I have been lucky enough to film this rhino for quite a few years for my rhino poaching documentary ‘Disunity’ and because of that have built up a level of trust. Do not try and do this with a truly wild rhino as it may end up with you being killed. I did not approach this animal, it was completely her decision to let me come into her personal space and touch her. Once she had enough, she walked away and continued grazing. In light of the recent attacks at a rhino orphanage in South Africa and the zoo in France, the location of this rhino will remain undisclosed for security purposes. She is secured in a private sanctuary with 24/7 armed security and has been dehorned to deter poachers.”

The location of this video is being held to protect this rare animal from being poached. It has also had its horn removed to devalue it for poachers. Illegal poaching of these wondrous animals has driven their numbers so low that they may be beyond preserving already. This savage industry is driven by superstitious beliefs that rhino horns contain some magical power to cure male impotence. The problem of poaching is so severe that these thugs have even taken to breaking into zoos to kill captive animals.

Since this video clip was posted it has gone viral, with many people commenting on it in social media.

“I’m enjoying watching this as much as the Rhino is enjoying that rub. Fab.”- HRH

“You see that animals know full well who means them harm and who is no threat to them. Animals are far more intelligent than most human beings I know. Don’t know how anyone could set out to kill one of these majestic beasts.”- Popsie80

“Got to admit i would be on a high if that happend to me i would be telling that story for years.”- Whodareswins

“That is so cool. If it was me, however, I think I would have needed to change my underwear.”- Anon.

“So much better than seeing hunters standing next to some poor animals they’ve tracked down and killed.”- ddnlj

“Such a shame they have to mutilate these beautiful animals to keep them alive. Whoever is into this mumbo-jumbo of rhino horn being good for… whatever, I hope your thing falls off.”- Tiger Tiger

Have you ever been this close to wildlife? How do you think the United Nations should deal with illegal poaching and the industries it feeds? Share your stories and ideas with us here.

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