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‘Terror’ jumbo found dead in Assam

The carcass was found at No. 1 Bholatar village under Nonai reserve forest in the district

By Shajid Khan in Udalguri
  • Published 10.10.19, 12:27 AM
  • Updated 10.10.19, 12:27 AM
  • a min read
The carcass of the elephant on Wednesday. (UB Photos)

A male elephant, which had created terror among villagers living along the Indo-Bhutan border in Assam’s Udalguri district, was found dead on Tuesday night, with forest officials and veterinarians suspecting it was electrocuted.

The carcass was found at No. 1 Bholatar village under Nonai reserve forest in the district.

“We suspect that the elephant was electrocuted by infuriated villagers as there has been a spate of incidents involving the loner wild elephant with its distinctive bifurcated ears. It could cover a large distance in a fraction of seconds,” said a forest official.

Sources said the elephant, christened Laden by the villagers, had killed nearly 70 people and injured several others in the past seven years.

A villager said the male elephant had spread fear among the people. “We spend sleepless nights and are scared to step outside after dark because of the elephant, while forest officials don’t come to our rescue citing lack of manpower and patrolling vehicles,” he said.

Wildlife activist Nabajyoti Baruah said, “The retaliatory killing of elephants by villagers due the lackadaisical attitude of the government is a warning bell as there are a couple of such loners still moving in the area.”

Man-elephant conflict has claimed 18 human lives and four jumbos this year, according to official data.