TAIPEI – A hippopotamus that panicked while being transported by truck in Taiwan jumped from the vehicle and landed on a car, breaking a leg and causing confused residents to report a “dinosaur” on the loose.
Television footage showed the animal lying on the road with white fluid oozing from its eyes after it jumped through a truck window and landed on a parked car before tumbling onto the road on Friday.
The hippo, named “A Ho” after the Chinese name for hippo, “Ho Ma,” remained prone for several hours before being put into a cargo container and taken back to its farm in the city of Taichung, central Taiwan, officials said.
Local media said the hippo was a star attraction at the farm and had appeared in a popular TV soap opera several years ago.
The sound of the impact startled people nearby who flocked to see the animal and contacted the police in central Miaoli county. One woman was quoted by the United Daily News as saying she ran out of her house after hearing the incident and thought she saw “a dinosaur” lying on the road.
The truck driver was quoted by the United Daily News as saying he saw the hippo “flying out” of the vehicle after getting spooked during the drive.
Taiwanese authorities said Saturday that the animal’s owner could face a fine of up to 75,000 New Taiwan dollars ($2,400) for violating animal protection laws.