A rhinoceros ran amok in a Nepal town Monday, killing one woman and injuring at least six people. The animal had apparently escaped the Parsa Wildlife Reserve close by, and its mad rampage was captured on several amateur videos.
According to local police in the Makwanpur district, the one-horned rhino had traveled around 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the reserve to Hetauda City. Yahoo News reports that upon arrival in the town, the rhino ran down the street chasing terrified pedestrians and running after vehicles as it went.
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According to Makwanpur police spokesperson Shishu Sharma, as the rhinoceros ran amok, it hit and killed a 61-year-old woman and injured another six people. Sharma said that at the time of speaking to the media, the rhino appeared to have calmed down and was now resting behind the hospital in Hetauda. He added they had called in experts in an attempt to sedate the animal.
“We have contacted technicians to see if we can sedate the rhino. Our focus is to rescue it.”
Reportedly, officials in the area have also called for trained elephants in an attempt to corner the rhino and then guide it back to the wildlife reserve, which is situated about 60 kilometers (35 miles) from the Nepalese capital Kathmandu.
The Wall Street Journal quotes Krishna Poudel, a resident in the town, as saying he was sitting on his rooftop when the rhinoceros ran amok in the street below. He captured on video the rhino running after a motorcycle down the street. Poudel said that they occasionally see elephants, but this is the first time he has seen a rhino in the area.
“I have never seen a rhino come into our area. Sometimes elephants do come.”
According to Poudel, the unnamed woman who was killed was one of his neighbors. He said that the rhino also killed a cow in its rampage.
According to conservation experts, deforestation in the area often forces wildlife to wander off into nearby villages, but they say it is rare for the animals to kill people.
However, back in 2013, another rhinoceros ran amok, goring a man to death where he was fishing in a river in Chitwan National Park, Nepal’s largest conservation area.
The various species of rhinos are rapidly becoming endangered in various areas of the world. However, Nepal, which is apparently home to 534 rhinos, has received recognition twice by conservationists for going a full year without poaching incidents involving either the rhinos or tigers.
Reportedly, at one stage there were thousands of rhinos roaming the Nepalese plains, but their numbers have decreased over the last century due to poaching and deforestation measures. Poachers in China and southeast Asia prize the animals for their horns, which are believed to have medicinal qualities.
In other rhino-related news, the Inquisitr reported recently that rhino poaching is being stopped by drones hovering over South Africa’s Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park.
[Image: One horned rhino CC BY 2.0 Diganta Talukdar]