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Rare takin descends on villages, injuring locals

A RARE male takin, a type of goat-antelope, killed a dog and injured four villagers on Friday in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, local people said on Saturday.

The agitated takin had possibly failed in a battle for a mate, experts said. It intruded into Chencun and Jiangnan villages in a suburb of Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi, on Friday morning. It ran down two people in each village and horned a dog to death before workers from a nearby animal rescue center shot it with anesthetic, said Wang Caili in Chencun Village.

Wang's 15-year-old son was injured by the animal, which was 1.5 meters tall, 2 meters long and weighed about 300 kilograms.

"The big animal ran into our yard when my son was going to the toilet and I was steaming a sweet bun," said Wang. "It tore a slit in my son's coat and hurt his chest with its horns."

Wang said her husband drove the animal away and saved their son.

The takin then broke into the home of Xue Shuxian, a 70-year-old woman, and injured her hip.

"The takin was caught at 11am, only after we gave it three shots of anesthetic," said Pan Guanglin, a veterinarian from the Shaanxi provincial rescue center for rare animals.

Takins look a bit like an ox but they have horns like an antelope. They are rare animals and are under state protection. They are not usually aggressive when in herds, but given their size and strength, they can be deadly dangerous when in rut in spring and summer.

The local government said it would compensate villagers.


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