A rhinoceros has rampaged through a Nepalese town after wandering off a wildlife reserve, leaving one woman dead and six people injured, police say.
A local police official said the animal travelled some 20 kilometres from the unfenced reserve to the town of Hetaudu, in central Nepal, where it chased down startled pedestrians as well as vehicles.
“The rhino hit and killed one 61-year-old woman, and injured six others,” Makwanpur police spokesperson Shishu Sharma said.
A cow was also injured by the rhino, a local report said.
Footage uploaded on social media showed the rhinoceros chasing a motorcycle down the streets of the town in Makwanpur district.
Mr Sharma said the animal appeared to have calmed down and was now resting behind a hospital in Hetauda.
Elephants called in ‘to guide rhino back to reserve’
Authorities have also called in trained elephants to try to corner the rhino and guide it back to the Parsa Wildlife Reserve, located around 60 kilometres south-west of the capital, Kathmandu.
While deforestation often forces wildlife to wander into nearby villages, experts said rhinos were rarely known to kill people.
However, in 2013, a rhino gored a man to death after he went fishing in a river in the Himalayan nation’s biggest conservation area, Chitwan National Park.
Nepal, home to 534 rhinos, has twice been recognised by conservation experts for going a full year with no poaching incidents involving tigers or rhinos.
Thousands of one-horned rhinos once roamed the plains of Nepal, but their numbers have plunged over the past century due to poaching and human encroachment of their habitat.
The animals are killed for their horns, which are prized for their supposed medicinal qualities in China and South East Asia.