A water buffalo injured 10 people in central Vietnam while rampaging down crowded streets, across a river and through a house before being gunned down at a kindergarten, an official said Monday.

The young male buffalo, normally a docile species used to plow rice fields, ran wild for about three hours over nearly 20 kilometers (12 miles) in Hue City, said local official Dang Van Ngan.

The 300-kilogram (660-pound) animal knocked over a motorbike, swam across a large river, broke down the wooden door of a house and collapsed a bed inside as three family members fled in terror, he added.

The animal bit an elderly woman who was crossing a street and she was hospitalized with head injuries. Nine other people received minor injuries, he said.

The buffalo also charged into a kindergarten where teachers raced to take eight children to safety on the second floor. The animal was corralled in the school's gated grounds, where it took two soldiers and eight bullets to finally bring it down.

Authorities still don't know where the buffalo came from and why it went wild, Ngan said, adding that no one has come forward to claim the animal.