Tipsy elephants kill six in Assam

#1 Dec 17th, 2002, 17:11
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  • indiamike is offline
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GUWAHATI: At least six people were trampled to death by wild Asian elephants that went amok after getting drunk on rice beer in northeast India, an official said on Tuesday.

The forest official said the herd went on the rampage on Monday, looking for their favourite tipple, in Tinsukia district, 550 km from the Assam state capital Guwahati.

"They smashed huts and plundered granaries and broke open casks to drink rice beer. The herd then went berserk killing six persons," the official told AFP by telephone from Tinsukia.

Wild elephants have been targeting areas where people brew large volumes of rice beer.

"We have come across devastating drunken bouts by herds that have developed a liking for country liquor," Kushal Konwar Sharma, a noted elephant expert, said.

The elephants have been causing large scale devastation in the area.

"A depleting forest cover and encroachment of elephant corridors have forced the pachyderms to stray out of their habitats," Assam Forest Minister Pradyut Bordoloi said.

In the last two years, elephants have killed at least 150 people. Angry villagers, in turn, have killed up to 200 of the animals.

Assam is home to about 5,500 of India's total 10,000 wild elephant population.

Reprinted from timesofindia
#2 Dec 17th, 2002, 21:52
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  • Rossinm is offline
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Thanks for the posting Indiamike. Although the story is bizarre at first glance, it is truly says something of the state of the environment when an elephant has a chance to develop a "taste for liquor". I heard a similar tale at the Kumbh Mela from a sadhu that until now I had not wholly believed. It seems the elephant in question had been a village owned elephant who was known to be docile and hard working in logging. Then he too developed a taste for alchohol, crashed a wedding, and drank 4 barrels of wine. He rampaged the village and killed 4 or 5 people and was promptly given to the next sadhu who passed through with the condition that he never come back to the village again. Poor elephant alcholics! First they lose their land and then they ruin their lives with drink.

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