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Army hunts 'mad' killer elephant in Nepal: 'Wild beast' pulls couple from bed then tramples them to death
Elephant kills four people in three months in NepalSoldiers told to find and kill it
18:42 GMT, 17 December 2012
A killer elephant is being hunted by Nepalese soldiers today after it strayed into villages and killed four people in three months.
The rogue wild elephant walked into a thatched house in Gardi village adjoining Chitwan National Park, 50 miles south of Kathmandu, pulled a couple in their 60s from their bed and trampled them to death, said Shiva Ram Gelal, assistant district administrator from Bharatpur, the nearest city.
Nepal has about 300 elephants, including around 100 domesticated adults which take tourists on jungle rides in the country's many safari resorts.
Dangerous: The elephant was said to have dragged the couple from their bed using its trunk
Most are found on the sub-equatorial plains of the southern Terai, where contact with humans is a regular problem.
The same animal killed two other villagers within the last three months, park officials said.
'We have given orders to the army to shoot the elephant that has gone mad,' Gelal told Reuters.
'Soldiers are now searching for it.'
Nepal has about 300 elephants, including more than 100 domesticated ones which are used by hotels and national parks to take tourists on jungle rides to watch wild animals like one-horned Asian rhinoceroses and Bengal tigers.
Elephants are protected by law and anyone convicted of killing one faces up to 15 years in jail, but Gelal said the Local Administration Act – a Nepali law – allowed authorities to kill the animal if it was responsible for the loss of human life.
Recent elephant poaching incidents have led an WWF expert to warn that the species could face localised extinctions if it continues.
said of the threats to animals such as elephants, rhinos and tigers:
'These are iconic species, they are being exploited and it's illegal and
should be stopped.'
Species with high value to illegal traders had seen
dramatic declines in recent years, including forest elephants in parts
of the Congo basin, Asian elephant, Sumatran rhino and Javan rhino.
Animal kingdom: Nepal has about 300 elephants which are used by hotels and national parks to take tourists on jungle rides