Authorities evacuated the visitors, who thronged the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, after a Rhinoceros broke free from the moat, forcing dozens of visitors to run for their lives on Thursday afternoon.

The Rhino named ‘Nakal’ is a recent acquisition to the Zoo, situated about six kilometres from the city and was released into the fortified moat in the morning. The Rhino was confined to a cage for four days as it was transported from Kanpur zoo to Visakhapatnam..

Authorities had planned to move it into a separate enclosure after it got acclimatised in the moat.

But unexpectedly, it broke through the fortified moat gate and ran into the public space around 1 p.m. In the melee that ensued some visitors were stated to have fallen while running away and sustained minor injuries.

Even as the alarmed authorities evacuated the visitors, the Rhino sauntered into the Sambhar enclosure. It settled itself in a small water body, the zoo curator G. Ramalingam said. He said the Rhino was aged around 12 years and captured seven years ago.

Officials are now planning to tranquilise ‘Nakal’ and efforts are underway to summon expert shooters. The zoo attracted a good crowd on Thursday because of the holiday on account of Ugaadi.