Elephant kills 70-year-old woman
7:55:50 2022-06-14 80

Elephant kills 70-year-old woman and then returns to trample her corpse at funeral in India.

An elephant in eastern India killed a 70-year-old woman and then returned to her funeral to trample her corpse.

The incident occurred in Odisha state on Thursday, police said.

Maya Murmu was at a tube well drawing water in Mayurbhanj district’s Raipal village when the wild elephant appeared out of nowhere.

Authorities said it had strayed from the Dalma wildlife sanctuary, nearly 200km from Mayurbhanj.

After being trampled, Ms Murmu was taken to hospital where she died from her injuries, police officer Lopamudra Nayak was quoted as saying to the Press Trust of India news agency.

Reports said when family members gathered for the funeral and were in the middle of performing last rites, the same elephant appeared, lifted Ms Murmu’s body from the funeral pyre and trampled it again, as shocked mourners looked on.

The family were only able to go ahead with the ceremony after the elephant left. It remains unclear if the animal harmed anyone else present.

Conflicts between elephants and humans are a common occurence in Odisha. Intensive industrial activity in the mineral-rich state has increased human encroachment in animal habitats, increasing chances of encounters between villagers and elephants.

A worrying trend in the state has also been a spike in the number of unnatural deaths of elephants. At least 1,356 elephants have died in Odisha since 2000-01, according to data provided by the state’s chief wildlife warden, reported the IANS news agency.

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