PANICKED locals in a Taiwanese city called police with an incredible claim — they had seen a ‘dinosaur’ on the loose. But this was no Jurassic Park. Instead the dinosaur — which some callers to police insisted had been flying — was a hippo that had fallen out the back of a truck in central Miaoli county.The hippo, named “A Ho”, panicked while it was being transported and jumped from the vehicle.
It broke its leg in the fall and the sound of the giant animal hitting the concrete startled residents who ran outside to see what the noise was. The hippo jumped through the truck window and landed on a parked car before eventually coming to rest on the road.Television footage showed the enormous animal lying there with a white fluid oozing from its eyes One woman was quoted by the United Daily News saying that she ran out of her house after hearing the crash and thought she saw “a dinosaur” lying on the road.
The truck driver was quoted by the newspaper as saying that he saw the hippo “flying out” of the vehicle after getting spooked during the drive. The injured animal lay on the road for a few hours before being put into a cargo container and taken back to its farm in central Taichung city, officials said. The hippo is expected to make a full recovery but its owner could be in for a hefty fine.
Taiwanese authorities told AFP news agency the owner could face a fine of up to Tw$75,000 (US$2,400) for violating animal protection laws because of the injuries it suffered. Local media said the hippo was a star attraction at its farm and had even appeared in a popular television soap opera several years ago.