Published On: Wed, Aug 28th, 2013

Wild tusker gores to death two people in Bengal

Kolkata: A wild tusker on Wednesday went berserk and killed two people in West Midnapore district of West Bengal.

 In this phase of musth, the animal is highly unpredictable and its behavior is extremely volatile


In this phase of musth, the animal is highly unpredictable and its behavior is extremely volatile

A forest official said that besides killing two persons, the elephant also injured three people during the last 72 hours. The incident occured on the fringes of Rupnarayan forest division, said the Divisional Forest Officer of Rupnarayan forest Division, Rabindranath Saha.

Wildlife experts say that a unique phenomenon is annually displayed by male elephant or a tusker which is termed `musth’. During this period a sticky secretion oozes from a gland situated behind the ears. When the pressure of the accumulated fluid in the glands becomes high, the animal becomes uncomfortable and starts rubbing the side of its head against tree trunks to try and expell the secretion.

In this phase of musth, the animal is highly unpredictable and its behavior is extremely volatile. “During this period, it has been often noticed that the tuskers attack human without any provocation,” said an expert.

The DFO was also of the same view when he said that the deaths were accidental and the tusker has not turned rogue.

“While all the attacks were carried out by a single elephant, we don’t think the animal has grown rogue or mad. The deaths were a result of mere accident. However, the animal is being closely monitored by the field staff and if need be remedial action would be initiated,” said the forest official.

With reports of as many as 11 human deaths reported due to man-animal conflict in the last few months in the forest division, Saha held the increase in human population in areas surrounding the forests responsible for such incidents.

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