Top hunter fells ele­phant that killed 15 in In­dia

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

New Delhi, In­dia - In­dia’s top hunter told on Satur­day how he felled a rogue ele­phant which had killed 15 peo­ple in a se­ries of at­tacks since March.

Nawab Shafat Ali Khan told AFP he shot the ele­phant late on Fri­day just hours af­ter be­ing called in by au­thor­i­ties. Satur­day was World Ele­phant Day.

Khan said he shot the ele­phant at point-blank range, but be­fore the an­i­mal fell it tried to swing its trunk at the hunt­ing party, forc­ing him to fire a sec­ond time.

“If we had been hit by his trunk it could have been fa­tal. It was a dan­ger­ous op­er­a­tion,” Khan said of the hunt in Sahib­ganj dis­trict of the east­ern state of Jhark­hand.

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.

Jhark­hand’s chief for­est and wildlife con­ser­va­tor L R Singh said the de­ci­sion to kill the ele­phant came af­ter a week-long op­er­a­tion to try to tran­quilise and cap­ture the an­i­mal.

“It was quite a dif­fi­cult op­er­a­tion be­cause of the thick bushes and since the an­i­mal had turned rogue it charged at us be­fore I pulled the trig­ger,” Khan said.

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

The area is in­hab­ited by the Pa­haria tribe, one of the poor­est in­dige­nous tribal com­mu­ni­ties in In­dia.

The sharp­shooter was last roped in by au­thor­i­ties in western Ma­ha­ras­tra state, where he tran­quilised a killer tiger.

“I pre­fer tran­quil­is­ing an­i­mals. But if it doesn’t hap­pen, killing is the last re­sort,” he said.

It was quite a dif­fi­cult op­er­a­tion... the an­i­mal had charged at us be­fore I pulled the trig­ger Nawab Shafat Ali Khan

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Oman

© PressReader. All rights reserved.