India: Elephants rampage in Ganjam after the death of their leader

A 60-year-old man was trampled to death by a herd of wild elephants that wreaked havoc in Ganjam district of Odisha state after the death of their leader.

The herd, consisting of six females and one calf, also destroyed the crops of nearby villages in the forest area of Buguda. A male from the herd died after coming in contact with a live wire near Latiguda village in the central forest area in the North Gumsur Division.

The deceased resident has been identified as Banchhanidhi Sethi. A woman was also injured and is being treated at Bhanjanagar District Hospital. People were advised not to approach the elephants or try to tease the animals. The family of the deceased will receive an allowance of 4 lakhs, the head of the Department of Federal Lands Affairs said.

A forest ranger and forest guard were suspended for negligence because they failed to report elephant movements on the day the man died, said A.K. Dalai, head of the northern Gumsur forest protection department.

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