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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mysore: Crazed elephants kill security guard

Two wild elephants caused a panic in southern India after wrecking havoc in the streets and wandering around a fenced-in college compound.
"The wild elephants entered the city around 6 a.m. from a nearby forest, wreaked havoc in a suburb trampling one person to death and caused panic in the area," state higher education minster S.A. Ramdas told reporters in Mysore, about 140 km from Bangalore.

One elephant barged into a women's college compound and roamed menacingly in the grounds, while the other got into a residential area.

After three hours of high voltage drama and mayhem, the twin jumbos were tranquilised by forest guards and chained to trees.
The two captured elephants will be released back into the wild later on Wednesday, Mr Ramdas said.

The victim has been identified as Renuka Prasad, a 55-year-old resident of Bamboo Bazar in the old city.

Questions are being raised over the manner in which the Forest Department woke up to emergency calls that harried citizens made to the police, media and the forest department staff themselves, when two wild elephants strayed into Mysore city in the early hours of Wednesday (08-June-2011).

Was the Department too late to react to the anxious calls or was it ill-equipped to handle an unexpected situation, were the questions that many asked here during the capture of the elephant at Dhobi Ghat.
“This is a lesson for the Forest Department to keep itself ready for any emergency related to animal attacks,” said Satish Naidu, who, along with his friend, kept track of the elephants that went on a rampage in the city, killing one person and injuring three others.

Indeed, the city woke up to distressing TV visuals that showed the bull attacking a man, who eventually died. It also showed it attacking cattle. People also should be blamed in this incident as they threw stones at the animal making it furious, Mr. Naidu said.

Every year, hundreds of people across India die when wild animals wander into cities as their natural habitats shrink and they have to range farther for food.

India's national parks suffer massive encroachment from people who live and forage for food in the forests or graze their cattle inside.

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