An old villager was trampled to death by a herd of wild elephants in Bandhdih village in Ghatsila sub-division of East Singhbhum district this morning, forest official said.
A large number of villagers, including an over 60-year-old Shyam Chandra Pal, had gone to the nearby bamboo jungle, where a herd of 12 wild pachyderm had sneaked in since last night in search of food, to drive the elephants back to the forest, said Divisional Forest Officer (Dalbhum), Saba Alam Ansari.
The animals got infuriated as people came close to them in the process to drive them away, he said adding that the panicky villagers ran to safety when the herd rushed to attack them but, the old man, who could not escape.
The pachyderm caught the man and trampled him to death.
A team of forest officials rushed to the spot and handed over Rs 25,000 as interim relief and assured to provide all benefits as per government norms only after all the formalities are completed.
Meanwhile, two teams of the forest department were pressed into service to drive the elephants back to its natural inhabitat.
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