Representational ImageReuters

A hippopotamus being transported in a truck in Taiwan panicked and jumped out, injuring itself, while locals who saw the animal lying on the road thought it was a dinosaur.

The hippo, called 'A Ho', jumped out of a window of the truck as it was being transported in Taiwan's Miaoli County, landing on a car and then falling on to the road, where it lay badly injured after breaking its leg and teeth.

Some locals who saw the animal mistook it for a 'dinosaur', local papers reported.

A woman who ran out from her house after hearing a crash, told Taiwan's United Daily News that she thought the animal was a 'dinosaur', AFP reported.

The truck driver reportedly saw the huge animal 'flying out' of the truck after it panicked. It was being moved to a new habitat.

The injured animal lay on the road for several hours, with blood oozing from its mouth and its teeth visibly cracked, before authorities took it back to its farm in central Taichung city.

 The hippo's owner was fined Tw$75,000 (US$2,400) for violating animal protection laws following the incident.