Rogue elephant tramples 15 to death in India, faces culling

Pauline Gross
August 13, 2017

Singh blamed the rocky terrain and thick vegetation in Sahibganj district.

LR Singh, the state's chief forest and wildlife conservator, had told AFP that shooting the animal was a last resort option. "He died with two shots", Mr. Khan recalled. Overnight the elephant was travelling as far as 20 kilometers and was destroying homes of people and injuring them.

According to forest officials, a hunter shot two bullets on the head of the animal, and another round was sacked as a confirmation shot.

The marauding elephant likely wandered from its herd and became lost, straying into villages where the killings took place.

Forest officials tried to tranquilize the elephant from a distance of 30 meters, but the animal suddenly ran to charge them, forcing the hunter to open fire, reported Hindustan Times.

The area is inhabited by the Paharia tribe, one of the poorest indigenous tribal communities in India.

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Khan has been flown in from the southern city of Hyderabad to kill the prey. "He has vast experience in shooting such rogue animals and that's why he has been given the responsibility to shoot the elephant", he said. "It was quite a hard operation because of the thick bushes, and since the animal had turned rogue it charged at us before I pulled the trigger".

The animal had allegedly killed four people in Bihar in March before crossing into the neighbouring state of Jharkhand where it killed 11 more people.

Khan, who is advisor to forest departments of five States, has killed seven such elephants till now and is called for his services across the country. An estimated 1,100 people died across India from elephant or tiger attacks in the three years to May.

Incidentally, August 12 is observed as World Elephant Day.

Experts say violent encounters between elephants and humans are increasing as forests are cleared for human settlements and industry.

Other reports by GizPress

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