Rhino released back into wild immediately attacks people riding elephants

Rare mammal being relocated to boost population

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The Independent Online

A rhinoceros has been captured on camera charging animal conservationists riding elephants moments after it was released back in to the wild.

The rare one-horned rhino was also seen attacking the vehicle that had transported it, forcing forestry workers to seek safety on trees and a wooden platform.

The giant mammal was released into Nepal's Chitwan National Park as part of an effort to boost the animals' numbers, after poachers devastated the population in the early 20th Century.

(Getty Images)

Although conservation efforts have increased numbers, there are still thought to be fewer than 4,000 across India and Nepal.

The forestry team hopes to release four female rhinos this week to join the male in Chitwan, in the far west of the country, in the hope of sparking a new breeding group, according to the Daily Mail.

Ram Chandra Kandel, Chitwan park chief, said: “He is one of the dominant males in this area.”

Rhino Nepal 1.jpg
A relocated rhino charges a Nepalese forestry team (Getty Images)

There are thought to be fewer than 30,000 rhinos of all species combined left in the wild around the world. Poachers hunt the herbivore for its horn, which is used in some East Asian cultures for traditional medicinal purposes. 

In March, poachers broke into a zoo near Paris, fatally shooting a rhino three times in the head before cutting off its horn with a chainsaw.