Rare animal on rampage in NW China, injures 8

Updated: 2007-06-12 16:53

XI'AN -- A rare Sichuan takin that was probably on heat went on the rampage in northwest China's Shaanxi Province Monday, injuring eight people before being shot by police officers.

A man surnamed Kang said the animal barged into his house and knocked him down on Monday morning in Anshanfang village, Huxian County, at the foot of the Qinling Mountain.

The takin is a stocky, powerful animal that may stand over 1.25 meters at the shoulder and two meters long. It can weigh up to 360 kilograms. It looks a bit like an ox but has horns like an antelope and a long nose like an American moose.fter recovering his wits, the startled Kang alerted the local police. But by the time they arrived on the scene, the animal had disappeared.

A police officer surnamed He said they immediately began to alert nearby villagers to the presence of the violent animal.

"By the time we caught up with it, it had injured another eight people, including a pregnant woman. The injury caused her to miscarry," He said.

"We had no alternative but to shoot to kill."

Takins are rare animals that are under state protection. They are usually offensive but given their size and strength, they can be dangerous when on heat in the spring and autumn.

"Takins are found in the Qinling Mountains, south of the provincial capital Xi'an, and do not attack people. This one was probably beaten by its peers when competing for a mate and ejected from the herd," said Zhang Zhiyan, vice director of the county's forestry bureau.

Four of the eight injured people are still in hospital. The provincial forestry bureau may pay compensation for the injured, said Zhang.

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