'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

  • 'You Can't Spell America Without Me': Baldwin to write book mocking Trump [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    Alec Baldwin's mockery of Donald Trump is turning to the printed page. The actor, who has impersonated the U.S. president on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" since last fall, is teaming up with author Kurt Andersen on the satirical book “You Can't Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Source
  • Ensuring newcomers know Canadian values up to Canadians

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — Newcomers to Canada need to know about this country’s shared values, and it’s up to Canadians to teach them, participants in government-run focus groups on immigration told researchers last summer. The report into the results of five focus groups held across the country found that many participants were thoughtful about Canada’s capacity to support and educate newcomers on “our laws, values and general way of doing things” to allow them to fit in. Source
  • Majority of Quebecers oppose more immigration

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A majority of Quebecers oppose the idea of welcoming more immigrants to Canada, a new survey suggests. A poll conducted by SOM for Cogeco Nouvelles and published Wednesday suggests that 55 per of respondents think Canada shouldn’t accept more immigrants in the wake of anti-immigration measures announced by U.S. Source
  • Obamas sign book deals to write about time in White House

    World News Toronto Sun
    Penguin Random House has netted separate, lucrative book deals with former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, who plan to write about their time in the White House, the publisher announced Tuesday. "With their words and their leadership, they changed the world, and every day, with the books we publish at Penguin Random House, we strive to do the same," Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle said in a statement reported by the Associated Press. Source
  • Trudeau and Ambrose in Calgary as byelection race heats up

    Canada News CBC News
    The Prime minister and the leader of the federal Conservatives will both be in Calgary on Wednesday, rallying their respective troops for two upcoming byelections. Watch live here as Rona Ambrose addresses the media in Calgary at 1:15 p.m. Source
  • Accused toe-sucker: 'I'm actually a good person'

    World News Toronto Sun
    TOLEDO, Ohio — Despite a possible foot fetish, an Ohio-man told a court he's actually a good person. A man charged with taking off a woman’s shoe and sucking her toes without permission at a mall has been accused of massaging the feet of other women without their consent. Source
  • Top doc says Canada's opioid addiction treatment is dangerous, Suboxone should be used in place of methadone

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Canada's use of methadone in treating fentanyl and other opioid abuse is dangerous and outdated, says a substance abuse expert gathered with others in Banff mapping out addiction strategies. Other countries, including the U.S., have moved toward using another drug, buprenorphine/naloxone in managing opioid addiction and Canada should probably move in a similar direction, said Dr. Source
  • Garneau calls for tough national standard for distracted drivers using cellphones

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Transport Minister Marc Garneau is proposing the creation of a tough national standard to penalize distracted drivers using their cellphones on the road. Garneau said Wednesday that having consistent national rules with stiffer fines and demerit points could address the growing number of incidents. Source
  • Saskatchewan champion powwow dancer known for humour and kindness dies

    Canada News CBC News
    A Saskatchewan First Nations activist and champion traditional powwow dancer who once performed for the Queen has died. Frank Asapace was 56. The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said in a release that Asapace, who grew up on the Kawacatoose First Nation north of Regina, died Monday. Source
  • Here's why you should brace for one last winter blast

    Canada News CTV News
    Dave Phillips has one message that may dampen Canadians’ spirits amid record-breaking warm temperatures: “Don’t put away the snow shovel quite yet.” Environment Canada’s senior climatologist says, while March may have entered like a lamb, it doesn’t preclude it from leaving like a lion. Source