Fear of Clowns

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

Monday, September 07, 2009

Assam promotes Bhut Jolokia chilli cultivation for export and control of rioting people and elephants 

Two of my favorite topics in one,

According to agriculture experts, the demand for Bhut Jolokia has increased recently, especially after it was established that it is the hottest pepper about two years ago. "The demand for Bhut Jolokia abroad is especially for its spice usage. In fact, it is also the tastiest pepper in the world. Moreover, different experiments on multiple uses of Bhut Jolokia has increased its demand," agriculture information officer Mowsam Haziraka said.

According to elephant conservationists, the chilli can be used as a powder to chase away marauding herds of elephants. Chilli cakes and fences have proved effective in keeping wild elephants at bay. So far, Bhut Jolokia cultivation is more or less confined to kitchen gardens. Wildlife conservationists have suggested that organized farming can only bring about a visible result in using the chilli products for driving out elephants.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009


A herd of wild elephants went on the rampage again, killing a woman and destroying almost all houses at a village in riot-ravaged Kandhamal district.br />
The wild herd, which is believed to have run away from the Lakhary elephant reserve in neighbouring Gajapati district, have been wrecking havoc in Kandhamal's Simanbadi, Baliguda and K Nuagaon forest range areas for the past three months. So far, they have killed at least at least nine people and damaged over 400 houses across 51 villages.

"Last year's communal riots pale before this present menace," Kanistha Pradhan (70) of Adagadu village in the tribal-dominated district said on Tuesday.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Thai elephant on speedy rampage 

A female elephant has killed seven people in Thailand's Trang province in the past month and continues to scare locals.

And ...

Trang Governor Somphong Anuyuthaphong also said that the husbandry department would check the elephant for possible addiction to narcotic drugs such as amphetamine.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Guwahati roundup: Elephants killed 452 people since 2001 

Rundown, from Guwahati,

A total of 452 people have been killed by wild elephants in the State from 2001 to May 24, 2009. The year 2006 witnessed the maximum death of 79 people, followed by 61 in 2005, 54 in 2004, 52 in 2008, 49 in 2001, 46 in 2002, and 44 each in 2003 and 2007...

"We have increased the compensation for a person killed by elephants to Rs 40,000, and the State Government has formed a corpus of Rs 50 lakh for the purpose. Damage to crops and houses is also being compensated," Hussain said.

(Guwahati is one of the fastest growing places in the world as far as human population, making it a hot-spot for human-elephant conflict).


Friday, July 10, 2009

Elephant kills 5, locals live in terror 

The battle is on.

A wild rogue elephant went on the rampage in Badmal and killed an old couple, then, a day later, it struck again killing three more in the Jhankara area. The elephant also destroyed over 15 thatched and mud houses, besides destroying or eating paddy kept after harvesting. No one seems to have any clue why the elephant has gone on the rampage amongst the villages.


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Nother trampling 

Sri Lanka - A 48-year-old woman who was on her way to the Kandy High Court to be present as a witness in a case was attacked and trampled to death by a wild elephant en-route.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Rampage in Indonesia! 

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - A man was trampled to death and a home destroyed after sixteen wild elephants rampaged through a village on Indonesia's Sumatra island, officials said Wednesday. Villagers in Aceh province's Cot Pangee tried for days to scare away the elephants, yelling and making loud noises, but the animals instead became more aggressive, said Andi Basrul, of the Conservation and Natural Resources Agency.

Over the weekend, one elephant trampled to death a 30-year-old man and a group of 15 animals destroyed a house and tore through several acres (hectares) of farmland Tuesday, he said.

Villagers say they have increasingly been terrorized by the animals. In May 2007, wild elephants searching for food in a village inside the Bukit Barisan National Park on Sumatra island trampled to death a woman and her 3-year-old daughter. In October 2007, a wild elephant stepped on the head of a 14-year-old boy and killed him after the teenager's motorbike hit the animal on Sumatra island, where most of the country's 2,500 wild animals live.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Herd makes double hit 

RANCHI, India: Rampaging tuskers trampled two people to death in Khuti district of Jharkhand on Monday, the police said.

According to the police, a herd of elephants entered into Husir village, around 70 km from here, early morning and trampled Budhu Gudia to death.

The same herd of elephants then killed Nathniyal Orayia in nearby Nimda village. The elephants also damaged a few houses in the two villages, said the police.


Monday, November 17, 2008

One gored, one trampled 

MYSORE - A 40 - year old Mahout Bola was gored to death by nine-year-old elephant 'Kyata' in Biligiriranganatha Swamy Sanctury in Chamarajanagar district. Bola had been to feed jaggery to the elephant when it reportedly attacked him and threw him on the ditch. This killed Bola on the spot on Saturday morning. While people gathered in hundreds, the still angry elephant Kyata did not allow any one near Bola's body, displaying angry mannerisms.

In another incident in Hunasehalla village of HD Kote taluk in Mysore district, Forest Watcher Muddumallaiah was trampled to death by a herd of elephants. Muddumallaiah, along with his officers, had gone to chase the elephants into the forests.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Trampled alone! 

Erode, India - A farmer was trampled to death by an elephant in Bargur forest area near Erode, police said today.

The 47-year-old man had left home to tend his cattle two days ago. When he did not return till Friday evening, people started searching the nearby forests, where his body was found. His body was found crushed in many parts.


Friday, October 24, 2008

The elephant-human war of attrition 

The reports I post here are almost all out of India, where the difficulties of humans and elephants vying for the same territory is well known. So the stories rarely include the back story. The same but less severe problem exists in Africa - here's and article with backstory,

Okullu said the elephants had destroyed the crops of up to 800 people in his village.

"Crops like bananas, millet, sweet potatoes, beans, cassava, maize, yams, have been uprooted and eaten," he said.

Internally displaced people in Amuru march to protest damage caused by elephants Area residents accused the government of prioritising wildlife over the welfare of returning IDPs - in reference to the government's failure to revise the law on wild protected animals.

Between May and July, an estimated 100 elephants from the park roamed villages in Gulu and Amuru, ravaging crops and interrupting the reintegration of IDPs.

Uganda's wildlife senior conservation officer, Stonewall Kato, told IRIN in Gulu that in recent years there has been an explosion in the number of elephants in the park, forcing some to stray out in search of water and food.

"It's a problem, but the law prohibits the killing of wild life. We have dispatched a team of rangers to drive the elephants back," Kato said.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Elephant gangs coordinatng rampages 

MANBAZAR, Oct 23: Two residents of Jamuria (Manbazar), Mukta Mahato (48) and Kando Sabar (65) of Nekra (Boro), were trampled to death by a rogue tusker and an elephant respectively in two separate incidents in Purulia district last week. Sixteen people have died due to elephant attacks in the district this year. Earlier, at least eight villagers died during the last week of May in Joypur block of Purulia, after a rogue tusker trampled them. Later, the tusker was shot to death. Meanwhile, a herd of 21 pachyderms including three calves from Dolma of Jharkhand have been on the rampage, since their entry into Purulia district a fortnight ago to hunt for food.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Elephant gets deadly pissed at fire-crackers 

Sources said two male tuskers entered the Jahajghat area through Auguri Pahar last night after crossing the Brahmaputra and virtually laid siege to large areas in the garrison town of Tezpur since early this morning.

The elephant trampled to death Montu Gowala, 60, in Auguri around 7pm and damaged a few houses in the area.

A district administration official said the Jahajghat area wore the look of a ghost town this evening with panic-stricken residents switching off lights.

He said trouble started soon after the forest guards started bursting crackers to chase away the two elephants.

... "The elephants got separated and this made matter worse," the official said.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Man trampled, elephant electrocuted 

ROURKELA: [A] pachyderm ... came in contact with a low-lying overhead 11 KV line while roaming outside the village on Sunday night. On hearing its screams, villagers gathered but found that the tusker had already died ... In another incident, a 55-year-old man, Ray Gadia Munda was trampled to death by a wild elephant at Bambundia village under Sundergarh Sadar police limit, about 140 km from here last night. Police said while Munda died on the spot, his nephew escaped unhurt.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Elephant posse loses one 

Alipurduar: A tusker came back from a forest last night to trample a man who had chased it away with friends minutes before.

... Rajesh Chhetry, Thule Chhetry and Sanju Chhetry lighted torches and scared the elephant away. Rajesh, 30, was killed when he was returning home later. His friends escaped. The villagers demanded an electrified fence and searchlights to prevent elephant raids.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Herd gets man 

Udhagamandalam A 52-year old man was trampled to death by a herd of elephants, including one calf, at Manjakombai near Coonoor in Nilgiris district.


Friday, September 05, 2008

Amok elephant flap continues 

KATHMANDU - Four people were killed in elephant rampage in southern Nepali districts, local newspaper The Kathmandu Post reported on Friday ... Nisha Pokherel was killed on her way with her family at the Jalar river in the morning. Similarly Ram Ashis Mahatto, 65, was also killed by the wild elephant while 20-year-old Mira Pokherel was injured and is undergoing treatment at a local hospital ... On Monday, another two people were killed in an attack in Sarlahi and Siraha district.

SOUTH AFRICA - Vanhuvmnwe Chinangama, originally from Zimbabwe, was grabbed through a fence by the elephant which then smashed the structure and trampled him to death.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Uptick in amok elephants 

MIDNAPORE - Kalosona Chalak and two others had gone to Poradiha jungles in the morning to collect leaves, where they came face to face with an elephant herd ... Chalak could not flee due to his age and one of the tuskers hurled him into the air ... The old man was left bleeding for about an hour and villagers came to his rescue only after the tuskers left. Chalak was admitted to Keyakul Block Primary Health Centre but he succumbed to his injuries.

class="cite_black"DHANUSA - Two people were killed and one injured when a wild elephant went on the rampage in Dhanusa district on Thursday. Six year old Nisha Pokherel was killed while on her way to celebrate Rishi Panchami with her family at the Jalar river in the morning. Similarly Ram Ashis Mahatto, 65 was also by the elephant while 20 year old Mira Pokherel was injured and is undergoing treatment at the Janakpur Zonal Hospital.

BONUS - Elephant kicks horse.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Elephant goes amok in Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka.At least two people and an elephant have died in the human-elephant conflict prevalent in SriLanka's rural north central and eastern areas, police said Tuesday. Police said that a 45-year-old man was killed as a result of being attacked by a wild elephant at Sigiriya, about 165 km from here in North Central Province.


Monday, September 01, 2008

African elephant goes amuk 

Kenya - An elderly man has been killed by a stray elephant in Laikipia North district ... Kithuka said the elderly man was trampled on before being thrown into a dam.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Domestic violence 

PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Oregon Zoo officials say a newborn elephant is doing well after it was trampled by its mother shortly after its birth Saturday.


Monday, August 18, 2008

One dead, two down 

A tusker trampled a woman to death and injured two others in Jharkahnd, police said Saturday.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Amok elephant catchup 

One woman was killed and 32 others were injured when an elephant ran amok after the Thalagolla perahera in Ragama.

A female elephant was killed by a tusker on Monday night (July 28) in the Hatipota forest of Buxa Tiger Reserve in north Bengal. Two male elephants from the herd of wild elephants seen in the neighbourhood had been pursuing the female. A fight broke out between the males during the night while the female stood by watching. As one of the male elephants tried to walk away with his mate, the second elephant charged and gored the female with his tusk. The female died on the spot.

RAIPUR: A seven-year-old girl was trampled to death by a wild tusker in a forested stretch in Chhattisgarh, taking to eight the number of people killed by rogue elephants since June.

A 17-year-old girl from Kfar Saba was moderately to seriously injured early Friday after being trampled upon by an elephant at the Ramat Gan Safari.

The girl broke into the zoo at dawn along with a 20-year-old man from Petah Tikva.

FOR THE fourth time in a week a man was trampled to death by an elephant near the Buxa Tiger Reserve in north Bengal.


Friday, July 18, 2008

A week of terror 


About 1,200 people of a tribal village in Chhattisgarh have moved to safer places on Friday to avoid a night of fury of a wild elephant that has razed a dozen houses and killed an elderly woman.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Killer elephant trapped in field by villagers 


A lone tusker, which had strayed out of a forest near Jalpaiguri town today, trampled to death one man and injured another who came in its way, before around 2,000 villagers confined the animal to a jute field for more than 10 hours.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Herd kills whole family 


Four members of one family were trampled to death today after a herd of wild elephants strayed into a remote village in southeastern Bangladesh, police said.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Two more elephant incidents 


On noticing a tusker eating a jackfruit there, [Lata ] raised an alarm. The tusker immediately followed her and trampled her to death.

When Madhab came out hearing the screams of his wife, the tusker also attacked him. Madhab died on way to Angul hospital. The tusker retreated into forests after the incident.


A WILD elephant has killed a villager and ransacked thatched shelters of the locals in mineral rich Joda area in Orissa’s Keonjhar district, about 300 kilometers away from the state capital of Bhubaneswar.

... according to figures available with Orissa Forest Department, as many as 256 elephants have died in the last five years beginning from 2002-03, while 187 persons have been killed due to man-animal conflict.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Elephant truely amok 

Kill, kill, kill!

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Enter the elephant borg 

Zacharias Mathew, 59, may have dropped out of school after the sixth grade, but that has not stopped him from inventing and patenting products that range from mid-hinged poles to a Cashew nut remover. He has many patents in the field of machine designing to his credit, and his latest patent is a device that can supposedly calm a raging elephant without causing the animal any harm.

By means of a small device fixed to one of the legs of the elephant with an elastic belt attached to the other leg, Mathew claims that one can calm a violent elephant. The moment the animal turns wild, the mahout - with the help of a remote - can lock the elephant's legs from a distance of about 25 metrs.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mob sets killer elephant on fire 

Leaping out of a Luis Buñuel film into reality,

On Tuesday evening, when the elephant raided the area for fruits, a mob doused it with petrol and set it on fire. Its entire body in flames, the elephant ran wildly in all directions looking for water.


The elephant was on the verge of collapse when a downpour put out the flames.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

"Elephant invasion" 


The range officer of Bankadaha, Bishnupur was seen making a tough attempt to rescue a forest guard from the clutches of the villagers on Tuesday. The aggrieved villagers had detained the guard who was patrolling in the Kulupur village.

The cause of resentment was that the forest department had remained indifferent to the recurring problem of elephant invasion. ... A herd of six residential elephants have been wreaking havoc in the villages surrounding the Bishnupur town for the last week.

The herd killed a villager, Lashkar Murmu in the tribal-dominated Joygoria village on Monday. Another villager Noor Mondal fractured his leg while trying to flee the area after the six-member herd invaded the village.

Mr Balai Ghosh, the range officer of Bankadaha finally managed to rescue his man after making sure that the villages under the range would be continously patrolled by two guards together. Mr Ghosh said: "The elephants are wreaking havoc. It is astonishing that a part of the residential herd have turned hostile and are attacking the villages. This behaviour is abnormal.",


A circus elephant trampled its mahout to death in southeastern Banglaesh and then ran around a highway, scaring off people, police said on Thursday.

Police said trouble began when the mahout hit the elephant on its head with an iron bar after the animal resisted walking through a river bridge near Barishal city, 280 km (175 miles) south of the capital Dhaka, on Wednesday.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

bin Laden shot dead 

Found and killed in India,

Ranchi, May 31 (IANS) A rogue tusker, which had killed 11 people and was called Osama bin Laden by villagers, was shot by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers in Jharkhand Friday night, officials said here. ... According to forest officials, the tusker had trampled to death 11 people and injured 22 in the last two months. ... According to forest department figures, over 400 people have been killed in the last six years and over 700 were injured in confrontation with elephants. In Jharkhand, the population of elephants has declined from 772 in the last census to 622 in the one conducted this May.


Saturday, May 31, 2008

Double attacks! 


At least seven people have been killed after an elephant went on a terrifying rampage through a village.

A further 24 people were injured when the female elephant stormed into Bhudaheda, in northern India, and began destroying crops.


An elephant ran amok in Haridwar district killing five people and injuring three others on Thursday, forest officials said.

Hours after the incident the forest guards killed the pachyderm in the nearby jungles of Bahadrabad area in the district.

The incident occurred at Khuddaheri village in the district where the elephant, which apparently came from the nearby Rajaji Park, began attacking people in the fields on Thursday morning.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Trampling flap! 


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.


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.


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.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

13 elephants trample crops, man 

A MAN was killed by an elephant during a standoff between a herd of elephants and villagers at Omuntele in the North [of Namibia] on Thursday.

Thirteen elephants, including three calves, escaped from the Etosha National Park. They trampled crops and mahangu fields, and villagers tried to chase them back to Etosha, shooting into the air with their rifles.

One elephant was wounded by a bullet fired by a villager. But this did not deter the elephants, which then stormed at the people. The villagers tried to run away, but two people collided with each other and one fell to the ground.

One of the elephants trampled the villager to death.

[Police Deputy Commissioner Ndahangwapo] Kashihakumwa blamed the villagers for not having informed the Police in time and instead trying on their own to chase the elephants away ... However, some villagers claim that Councillor Sacky Nangula called the Okatope Police immediately when the elephants arrived at the village, but the Police said they did not have a car.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Elephant runs amok in Kerala, kills three 

An elephant gored to death three people, including a woman, during a temple festival in Kerala's Thrissur district on Wednesday afternoon.

... The police identified two of those killed as Kausalya, 75, and Nidheesh, 20. "The third person's identity is yet to be confirmed. His face was crushed beyond recognition," an official at Irinjalakkuda police station said.

The jumbo, which continued the rampage for about two hours, was calmed down by the mahouts and chained.

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