'Scared' elephant rampages through Indian town

KOLKATA, India -- A wild elephant rampaged through an east Indian town on Wednesday, smashing homes and sending panicked residents running.

See Full Article

As the frightened elephant ran amok, trampling parked cars and motorbikes, crowds of people gathered to watch from balconies and roof tops. Some followed from a distance as the elephant moved through the streets.

"The elephant was scared and was trying to go back to the jungle," said Papaiya Sarkar, a 40-year-old homemaker who watched the elephant amble down a street near her home.

The elephant had wandered from the Baikunthapur forest, crossing roads and a small river before entering the town of Siliguri in West Bengal state.

Divisional Forest Officer Basab Rai said the female elephant appeared to be a loner without a herd, and was likely searching for food when it strayed into the town.

He said it did not attack any people, and appeared to be afraid of them. After several hours, it became clear the elephant was unable to find its way back to the forest.

Authorities eventually shot the elephant three times with a tranquilizer gun and used a crane to lift it into a truck once it had calmed down.

It was then taken to a special park for domesticated pachyderms that is maintained by the forest department. Once the effect of the tranquilizer wore off, authorities planned to return the elephant to the forest, Rai said.

Elephants are increasingly coming into contact with people in India, as the human population of 1.25 billion soars and cities and towns grow at the expense of jungles and other elephant habitats. In India and Sri Lanka, more than 400 elephants and 250 humans are killed each year.

On Wednesday, another wild elephant trampled a farmer to death in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The farmer had been sleeping in his paddy field when the elephant appeared, police told Press Trust of India.

India's elephants are also threatened by speeding trains and illegal poachers looking for ivory to sell on the black market. Today, there are about 30,000 elephants across the country, restricted to about 15 per cent of their historic habitat, according to the environment ministry.

Worldwide, elephants have disappeared from some 95 per cent of their historical range, which once stretched from the shores of the Mediterranean to the Yellow River in northern China.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Manitoba premier explains how he got injured in New Mexico

    Canada News CTV News
    WINNIPEG -- Manitoba's premier is giving some more details about a wilderness hike in New Mexico where he broke his arm and became lost. Brian Pallister has refused to do media interviews about the ordeal, which happened on Monday but was only revealed to the public on Friday. Source
  • Laval continues its dominance over Calgary in Mitchell Bowl win

    Canada News CBC News
    Quarterback Hugo Richard threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns as the Laval Rouge et Or defeated the Calgary Dinos 35-23 on Saturday to win the Mitchell Bowl and advance to the U Sports national championship. Source
  • Arctic highway provides vital link to Canada's North

    Canada News CTV News
    Much has been made about the potential economic benefits of the new road linking Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., to the rest of Canada, but the town’s mayor and the territories’ premier say they expect other benefits too. Source
  • 48 dogs rescued from frigid Alberta town’s dump

    Canada News CTV News
    An Alberta animal rescue group says it has saved dozens of dogs and puppies from a town in the far north of the province, including some that were homeless and scavenging at the local dump. Source
  • Sinn Finn's divisive leader to step down after over 30 years

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Gerry Adams, the divisive politician known around the world as the face of the Irish republican movement as it shifted from violence to peace, announced Saturday that he was stepping down as leader of Sinn Fein next year after heading the party for over 30 years. Source
  • Sinn Fein's divisive leader to step down after over 30 years

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Gerry Adams, the divisive politician known around the world as the face of the Irish republican movement as it shifted from violence to peace, announced Saturday that he was stepping down as leader of Sinn Fein next year after heading the party for over 30 years. Source
  • FBI report on black 'extremists' raises new monitoring fears

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- An FBI report on the rise of black "extremists" is stirring fears of a return to practices used during the civil rights movement, when the bureau spied on activist groups without evidence they had broken any laws. Source
  • Thousands expected at memorial for fallen police officer in Abbotsford, B.C.

    Canada News CTV News
    ABBOTSFORD, B.C. -- The streets of Abbotsford, B.C., will be lined with blue on Sunday as thousands of police officers from across the country and around the world march in remembrance of their slain colleague. Source
  • Lena Dunham defends Girls writer from rape accusation, provokes Twitter backlash

    World News CBC News
    After coming to the defence of a writer who works on her popular HBO show Girls — calling rape accusations against him false — actor, director and outspoken feminist Lena Dunham faces a backlash on Twitter. Source
  • Lebanon's PM Hariri says he will be in Beirut within days

    World News CTV News
    PARIS -- Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Saturday he will return home in the coming days from where he will declare a political stance for the first time since making a strange resignation announcement from Saudi Arabia that unleashed fears of a crisis in Lebanon. Source