The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Residents with rods push back elephant

Jhargram, June 29: Separated from its mother, an elephant this morning ventured out of Lalgarh forest, crossed the Kansabati river and strode into Jhargram town. Panic-stricken residents scurried for cover and came back armed to the teeth.

Around 9 am, villagers cycling along Ghoradhora station road leading to the heart of the town were shocked to see an elephant hurry past in full speed. Trumpeting his way through the road, the three-year-old male reached a busy marketplace, where traders left their wares and fled.

After having a nibble at a few vegetables, the frightened elephant crossed Jhargram railway gate and reached Notundighi. As men, women and children steered clear of the road, he moved to other areas, plundering goodies.

Residents frantically tried to contact forest department officials, but failed. Soon, hundreds of youths armed with rods and spears attacked the animal. Within a few minutes, the elephant was profusely bleeding all over his back, trunk and head.

Left with little choice, he started running towards Dhubrajpur jungle. Police led by officer-in-charge Deepak Sarkar managed to push the pachyderm deep into the jungle around 4 pm.

“We have traced its route. The animal had been separated from its mother at Lalgarh jungle,” said Sathi Dutta, secretary of Saheli, a wildlife group.

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