Elephant Crushes Man to Death in India After Mob Attacks It with Rocks and Firecrackers

A man in India was crushed to death by an elephant after he took part in a group attempt to scare the animal away. The elephant acted in defense after villagers threw rocks and firecrackers at it. 

The incident took place on February 24 in the village of Belkonglu on the Andhra Pradesh-Karnataka border near Kolar district, The Hindu reported. The victim, identified as Krishnapp, 56, was part of a mob that was attempting to drive a herd of elephants away from a lake near their village. A single elephant strayed from the herd and charged at the mob in defense. The victim fell down while attempting to flee from the enraged elephant and was trampled to death.

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According to The Hindu (the only outlet to report the incident), the area where the death occurred is traditionally not known to have elephant herds. However, deforestation and human development continues to destroy their habitats. As a result, the animals are forced to move, which often means they must live closer to humans. An estimated 20 percent of the world’s human population now lives in or near the present range of the Asian elephant, The World Wildlife Foundation reported.

02_26_elephant Elephants are being pushed closer and closer to human populations. BIJU BORO/AFP/Getty Images

The death reported here isn't the first resulting from this clash. Incidents of elephants raiding human villages and farms are increasing as are human attacks on elephants by villagers attempting to protect their property and crops.

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In an attempt to prevent human attacks on the endangered Asian elephant, some countries provide government compensation if an elephant attacks property. However, these elephants are also at danger of hunting and capture, either for the illegal ivory trade or for the tourism industry.