As the world’s human population continues to grow rapidly, the natural habitats of many animals continues to shrink and the combination can prove to be deadly.
One example of the danger happened in India this morning when two elephant calves wandered out of the forest and made their way into the heart of the city, two other elephants left the forest but remained on the outskirts of the city.
The elephants entered the city from the highway circle and moved on to Maharani’s College of Arts, Commerce and Management, where one of the elephants mauled a security guard. He was trampled to death by one elephant.
The rogue calves also killed a cow and damaged some vehicles before being tranquilised by the forest department officials.
All the animals were captured by the afternoon. Earlier, around 300 policemen were deployed near the area where the elephant calf was tranquilised. The deployment was ordered after people started gathering to see the animal. They are set to be released back into the wild.
Reacting to the incident, Union Minister of Environment & Forests Jairam Ramesh said in Delhi, “This incident brings into sharp focus the man-animal conflict. We need to enhance sensitivity towards the elephant.”
Every year hundreds of people across India die when wild animals wander into cities as their natural habitats shrink and they have to range farther for food.
India’s national parks suffer massive encroachment from people who live and forage for food in the forests or graze their cattle inside.