A wild elephant went on a rampage yesterday in the Indian state of West Bengal, crushing several homes and terrifying locals. Here’s what happened in Siliguri, an Indian town where the elephant went berserk.
Animal expert Arup Ghosh explains, “I know this jumbo — it has developed cataract. Since it was foggy in the morning, it lost its way and came into the city. It panicked as hundreds of people began chasing it. The more it panicked, the greater destruction it caused trying to escape. However, it is a gentlemakna (male elephant without tusk). Even under tremendous stress, it did not attempt to kill anyone.”
Eyewitnesses claim that the elephant had entered the village from the forest area, and seemed confused and scared himself. After destroying several homes and vehicles over several hours, the elephant was finally tranquilized by government officials, being shot thrice by a tranquilizer gun. The elephant is now kept along with other domesticated elephants in a special park, and could possibly be sent back to the wild soon.
What is interesting though is that it took the officials so many hours to take the necessary action and transport the animal to safety. It was later confirmed that the elephant was suffering from poor vision due to severe cataract, which explains why he seemed disoriented and caused so much damage.
This is yet another incident which underlines the need for creating sustainable residential structures, without thoughtlessly destroying forest area. If the animals have nowhere else to go, it is but obvious that we will soon face many more man-animal conflicts like this incident.