TRAGEDY struck in eastern India at the weekend when a herd of elephants went on a rampage, killing at least five people in two separate attacks.
According to the Times of India, the attacks that took place in Burdwan on Sunday left another person injured, with a trail of destruction left behind when the four elephants strayed from a herd.
In one of the attacks on Sunday morning, the jumbos were spotted trailing through a field in Bhatar before setting upon residents Annakoli Roy, 62, and Narayan Majhi, 69, killing them instantly.
“These elephants have been destroying our crop since last night, and now they have killed two of our own,” Basu Mudi of Nasigram told the daily.
Warning: Graphic Video
According to Associated Press, senior forest official Ajay Das said one man was killed on Monday morning after he walked out of his home in a village in the Burdwan district of West Bengal state. The man encountered five elephants, and he was tossed in the air and trampled by one of them.
Forest officials were given orders to tranquilize the elephants, but some, including a mother and her calf, managed to flee. The police also set up a cordon to prevent onlookers from encountering the animals.
An official, Burdwan district magistrate Saumitra Mohan, was also reported saying the forest department had received directions to kill the adult elephants.
“The police and forest officials are guarding the villages. The victims’ families will receive compensation,” he was quoted saying.
Animals and humans have come into increasing conflict as rapid urbanisation cuts into India’s forests.
Additional reporting by Associated Press.