In a rare case of turning the tables against its attackers, a rhinoceros injured a suspected poacher in Namibia.

The newspaper the Namibian reported that a group of poachers illegally made their way into Etosha National Park on the hunt for the animals when one "appeared out of nowhere" and charged at the men.

Local police officer, Simson Shilongo, told the paper that one of the perpetrators, identified as Luteni Muharukua, fell as he tried to escape and the rhino gored him, inflicting a severe leg injury.

"His friends took and hid him (Muharukua) on a nearby mountain, and he was arrested there the next day by the police," the police officer said.

The suspect is under police guard at Opuwo Hospital while he is getting medical treatment after the incident which occurred earlier in the month but was not reported until 19 October.

The animals can live in the wild for up to 40 years and weigh up to two tonnes. Illicit trade of rhino horns has put the rhino in jeopardy. Despite a UN convention ban on the global trade of rhino horns, they remain in demand in some Asian countries as medical remedies.

In April this year, Malaysian customs officials found 51kg of rhino horns arriving from Africa, worth around $3m. One kilogram of rhino horn can fetch up to $60,000. The Namibian reported that hunters killed seven rhinos in Etosha National Park between June 2016 and June 2017.

Earlier this month a shocking photo of an endangered rhino shot and butchered by poachers in South Africa won Brent Stirton Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017.

Black rhino
A black rhino in Etosha National Park, Namibia. Wikimedia Commons, file pic