A man has died after being trampled by an elephant that had separated from its herd in India. At the time forest rangers were trying to coax the elephant back towards the herd as it was clearly growing agitated and anxious. To make matters worse locals from a nearby village were starting to congregate and watch, and it was only adding to the elephant’s agitation. Elephants can often respond to stress with extreme violence and forest rangers were under great pressure to defuse the situation before the elephant lashed out at the growing crowd of people.
Enter Ashok Bharti, 54. He was in the area because of work when he noticed the crowd and the elephant. He had already been drinking heavily at this stage and that was when he decided he wanted a selfie with the giant enraged animal.
"But suddenly a person present there among locals, went nearer to the tusker and tried to take a photograph of the elephant on his mobile phone,” said one of the rangers who had been working to return the elephant to its herd.
It was at this stage that the elephant turned and trampled the man violently. He managed to survive the initial trauma and was quickly rushed off to hospital but he died of his injuries along the way.
In case you’re curious, the Asian Elephant can way up to 5,400kg and run at about 15 mph (a pretty hefty sprint in human standards). They can be incredibly aggressive and kill around one person a day in India, and as humans continue to push into wildlife habitats the incidents are increasing in number. With the ability to crush a person like an ant and a nervous disposition, an elephant is a bit like a city bus that can get angry and hold grudges.