Even as the rangers were considering how to trap the giant animal, it butted 12-year-old Truong Ngoc Duy who was cycling to school, injuring him.
Half an hour later the animal fatally attacked Pham Thanh Thien, who was herding cattle.
It then gored Tra Thi Binh, 72, who was taken to hospital for emergency treatment. Its other victims were Bui Tuan Kiet, 40, and Le Dinh Vinh, 32.
The animal was then spotted wandering near the river around 100 meters from people’s houses, causing panic. Traders at a local market panicked and fled leaving behind their goods.
Rangers in Dai Loc District had asked commune people’s committees to make sure locals did not shoot the rare animal, but at 5.45 PM the same day the animal was found along a bamboo clump.
Authorities suspect the animal died of thirst since the mercury had risen to 40 degrees Celsius in the area and the river had gone dry.