Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken
gozz@gozz.com

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Trampling flap! 

Kerala,

MALAPPURAM (KERALA): A wild elephant went amok and killed a woman at in Malappuram district on Thursday. Ameena (52), a rubber-tapper at a state-run Plantation corporation, was busy working when the elephant attacked, killing her on the spot, police said.

A fortnight ago, a 10-month-old baby was snatched from her mother's hand and killed by a wild tusker at a tribal colony in the area, the sources said.

Bengal,

Purulia, May 21: Six people, including a two-and-half-year-old boy, were trampled to death by a tusker in Purulia today. The elephant wandered into Beladi village in the Joypur area, 305 km from Calcutta, around 5am and killed Nakur Mahato. Nakur, 35, was sleeping outside his hut. The animal then attacked two other women, who were also sleeping, but they escaped with injuries.

Badal Mahato, 30, a small farmer, had come to the field around 7am to pick vegetables. With Badal was his wife Bela, 25, their two-and-a-half-year-old son Goltu, and his mother Sauri, 55.

"I was busy in a corner of the field when I heard my mother shriek. I turned around and saw a huge elephant trampling my mother. I rushed forward but felt helpless in front the giant," said Badal.

The elephant gored Sauri with its tusks and then targeted Bela, who had Goltu in her arms. "When I realised it was not possible for me save them, I ran a distance and hid behind a clump of trees and watched. I watched my entire family die before my eyes," said Badal.

Calgary,

Brent Van Hooft, who has worked with elephants for the past 20 years and been a keeper at the zoo for the past 30 years, was cleaning up the animal closure when Swarna, a 34-year-old female Asian elephant, came up behind him Sunday. "Apparently, he had his back turned and she pushed him or bumped him, and he fell into the wall and struck his head," said Grahame Newton, the zoo's director of corporate services.

The force of being pushed into the concrete wall left Van Hooft with minor chest injuries, cuts and bruises to his face and possibly a broken nose. It's possible Swarna considered Van Hooft a threat to nine-month-old Malti, a calf born to another elephant, Newton said.

Dude thinks about a contraption,

Though the device is yet to be tested on an elephant, Mathew said that the device will work. The device consists of two gear units, operated using a remote, that are placed on the sides of the elephant. The leg is connected to the gear unit with a nylon belt that can withstand a load of 3 tonnes.

When the button on the remote control is pressed, the nylon belt gets tightened. As the elephant raises its leg, the belt gets further tightened and it will not be able to move back its leg unless the lock is released. In addition to the remote control, the device can also be locked manually by pulling the long rope attached to it.

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