Rampaging tusker poisoned to death in Jharkhand

January 25th, 2009 - 4:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Jan 25 (IANS) Villagers poisoned a wild tusker to death in Khuti district of Jharkhand after it wreaked havoc on their standing crop and houses, said a forest official Sunday. “Primary investigations reveal that the wild elephant was poisoned Friday. We have taken the elephant’s body in our possession,” the forest department official told IANS. According to him, “the wild tusker had wreaked havoc in Torpa area of Khuti district.”

The elephant was found dead Saturday in Torpa block, around 90 km from Ranchi. Primary investigations suggest the elephant was poisoned.

“The food or water source seems to have been poisoned by the villagers to cause the death of the elephant,” said the official.

Four wild elephants died in Torpa block under mysterious circumstances in the last six years.

The villagers offered flowers and prayed to the dead elephant in the belief it would minimise the wrath of the other wild elephants.

Many villagers are upset over the death of the tusker. In India, the tusker is revered as a form of Hindu god Ganesha.

Last year a wild elephant, named by villagers as Bin Laden, was poisoned in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand.

Rampaging elephants regularly venture into villages, trample people to death and damage houses and standing crops.

According to forest department figures, more than 600 people have been killed and more than 750 injured in the last eight years after being attacked by rampaging elephants.

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