'Rogue' elephant shot dead for killing 15 in Jharkhand, Bihar

'Rogue' elephant shot dead for killing 15 in Jharkhand, Bihar”

A rogue elephant, who trampled 15 people to death in eastern India, has been shot dead in an elaborate hunt involving forest guards and sharpshooters.

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

Attacks by wild elephants are common in India, and government reports say more than 300 people are killed each year by them. "The visibility is only 15 feet and it's become next to impossible to tranquilise the animal", Singh told AFP. A team led by hunter Nawab Shafath Ali Khan from Hyderabad, along with veterinarians, had been camping in the higher reaches of Raj Mahal Hills of Sahibganj for the goal. Singh said that after it had killed three people, Bihar counterparts had nearly declared it "rogue".

The marauding elephant, believed to have lost its way after becoming separated from its herd, crushed four victims in Bihar state in March before crossing into neighbouring Jharkhand and killing 11 more.

'It was unfortunate we had to kill the elephant but were forced to issue the shooting orders since it was wreaking havoc in the region.

The area is inhabited by the Paharia tribe, one of the poorest indigenous tribal communities in India. Killer behaviour "He developed this abnormal behaviour of raiding the villages at night and pushing the huts down, killing women and children sleeping in them", Mr. Khan informed.

About 100 people including forest officials and villagers took part in the hunt, but Khan said he was the only person authorised to shoot.

Animal lovers expressed their anger on the decision of Jharkhand government to shoot an elephant ahead of World Elephant Day on August 12.

Violent encounters between elephants and humans were an "increasing trend", said Singh, as vast swathes of forest are cleared for human settlements or industry.

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