In India, an elephant kills a woman then returns to trample her body during her funeral – Liberation

The second most populous country in the world is experiencing a wave of wild elephant attacks on humans, causing thousands of deaths since 2014. The degradation of the natural habitat of these animals is one of the reasons given to explain this hostile behavior. .

The old elephant knows where to look for water», says the African proverb. He also knows where to find the bodies of his victims, according to Indian press stories. In the east of the country, a pachyderm beast killed a 70-year-old woman before returning to her cemetery to trample her corpse. Maya Murmu had left Thursday morning to fetch water in the village of Raipal, in the state of Odisha (northeast of the country), when the animal, which had been seen missing from a shelter, stepped on it. The old woman died in hospital from her injuries.

The story, already tragic, could have ended there. But the killer returned to the charges while the family of the deceased performed their final funeral service, on the same night. The elephant then unhook the body from the pile of wood, before trampling it again and getting rid of it. The ceremony was able to resume hours later despite the surprise of bereaved relatives. Elephant goes by his side.

Attack enhancement

The tragedy is unfortunately not an isolated case. With over 27,000 specimens, India is home to the largest number of wild elephants in Asia. But the country’s massive deforestation has led to an increasing number of attacks on humans. The destruction of their habitat is forcing pachyderms to seek alternative food sources on farms or plantations, getting closer to their inhabitants. “Elephants in India are restricted to only 3-4% of their natural habitat, with the rest of their range disturbed by deforestation, invasive species and climate change. This encourages elephants to seek resources outside of forests and protected areas.point WWF report, which warns that the number of Asian elephants has roughly halved in the last 60 to 75 years. This species is also listed as “in danger” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

According to Indian authorities, wild elephant attacks have killed at least 3,310 people between 2014 and 2021, including a significant number in the state of Odisha, where around 40 deaths have been recorded in seven months. Every year, half a million Indians also see their crops destroyed by elephants. The peasants, who sometimes lost all their income overnight, did not hesitate to kill them in retaliation. India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests estimates that 474 elephants died from electrocution between 2014 and 2020.

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