Forest management officials in Binh Thuan Province have ordered rangers to protect a wild ox that showed up near a village injured.
Luc Minh Hieu, deputy chief forest manager of the south central province, said he has told them to make sure that the protected gaur is safe after it was spotted in Song Luy Commune in Bac Binh District.
Do Thanh Hung, the commune chairman, said some locals saw it first on October 20 and tried to chase it away, causing it flee into a reservoir.
But he and other officials showed up in time to prevent them from harming the animal and shoo it back into the jungle, he said.
“The gaur was very tall and has two long horns.
“It was injured and its legs were bleeding.”
Rangers said the animal was weak and unlikely to attack anyone or damage crops.
Locals said they spotted a herd of six to eight gaurs in Ho Bom jungle in the commune last week.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the tallest wild cattle species (Bos gaurus) as vulnerable after its population declined by 70 percent over the last three generations.
Poaching for commercial trade is the major threat, especially in Laos and Thailand.
Wild boars, gaurs, and elephants have been showing up near inhabited areas in central Vietnam recently, some attacking people and damaging fields, raising questions about the extent of human encroachment into their habitats.
Another gaur that was spotted coming out of a jungle in the central province of Quang Nam in late March was found dead in May after it gored a person to death and injured four others.