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November 16, 2009

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Bullets end buffalo's rampage

A RUNAWAY water buffalo broke free of a slaughterhouse in Zhejiang Province on Saturday and took off on a Hollywood-style chase - running nearly 20 kilometers, charging three vehicles and injuring 10 people before being cornered in a warehouse in the city's Jinshan District.

And it ended with a shoot-'em-up, the police firing at least 10 times to bring the animal down. "I have never seen a domestic animal get so mad," said an officer who joined the hunt.

The injured were all in stable condition, police said yesterday. Seven were hurt in Shanghai, three at the slaughterhouse.

The animal escaped the slaughterhouse after it "took fright," said the police.

The buffalo, breaking loose of the rope about 8:30am, first knocked down some slaughterhouse workers before heading to a highway leading to Shanghai.

With a Zhejiang police car and a truck from the slaughterhouse behind, the animal appeared on the road near Jinshan's Langxia Town about 9am.

It aggressively butted anything in its way, witnesses said.

The buffalo stabbed its horns into two elderly at their home - a woman in her 90s suffering a chest injury - after damaging a motorcycle, a moped and a minivan.

Several passersby were butted to the ground.

The mad buffalo continued its run until cornered in a courtyard by villagers.

But the animal banged its head into the iron bars of the courtyard door and, amazing everyone, broke through it.

At 9:30am, the buffalo was finally cornered in an empty warehouse of a beer factory.

"We decided to shoot the animal before it caused further damage and injury," said Wang Yong, a police spokesman.

Officers cordoned off the area and blocked the gate with a police car. Dozens of armed officers went into the warehouse and fired at the animal at 11:10am.

"Police fired at least 10 shots," said a witness, surnamed Gu.

The dead animal was then taken back to Zhejiang, said the authorities.

"It seldom happens," said a worker from the Zhejiang slaughterhouse.


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