A team led by hunter Nawab Shafath Ali Khan from Hyderabad, along with veterinarians, had been camping in the higher reaches of Raj Mahal Hills of Sahibganj for the goal.
A “rogue” elephant, which had killed 15 people in Bihar and Jharkhand in the last six months, was killed by forest authorities in Jharkhand’s Sahibganj district on Friday evening. He fired the first shot on its forehead, and after it fell, fired another shot to confirm it was killed, ‘ he said. “It was a unsafe operation”, Khan said, describing the hunt.
According to Sakshi news, Jharkhand’s chief forest and wildlife conservator LR Singh and his team went on a week-long mission but failed to tranquilise and capture the elephant.
The marauding elephant, believed to have lost its way after becoming separated from its herd, has strayed into villages in hillier parts of Sahibganj.
“It was quite a hard operation because of the thick bushes and since the animal had turned rogue it charged at us before I pulled the trigger”, Khan said.
The forest official said that casualties could have continued to increase had several people from villages atop the densely forested hills not come down to lower areas.
“This entire belt is inhabited by native tribal communities who have co-existed with wildlife for centuries, the elephant’s behavior – that he was literally stalking humans – is still a mystery”, Khan told reporters. “He died with two shots”, Mr. Khan recalled. “I prefer tranquilizing animals”.
Animal lovers expressed their anger on the decision of Jharkhand government to shoot an elephant ahead of World Elephant Day on August 12.
Violent encounters between elephants and humans were an “increasing trend”, said Singh, as vast swathes of forest are cleared for human settlements and industry.