Elephant Tramples Man to Death in Video Viewed Over 180k Times

A man was trampled to death by an elephant in India on Sunday. The incident was captured on video and shared on social media by a local wildlife official, prompting many commenters to place blame on the crowd of individuals for provoking the herd.

The attack occurred at the Morongi tea estate in Assam, India on Sunday, according to local outlet The Assam Tribune. The event was caught on video and shared on Twitter the next day by Parveen Kaswan, an official with the Indian Forest Service. In his tweet, he said: "A human lost his life. I wonder whom to blame." Warning: some viewers may find the footage disturbing.

A human lost his life. I wonder whom to blame. pic.twitter.com/KQVGzRq0Ca

— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) July 26, 2021

The video shows a herd of elephants crossing a highway outside a forest reserve while a crowd gathers along the road. As the elephants cross, some in the crowd can be heard yelling at the elephants as a car horn sounds in the background. About halfway through the video, a small group attempts to charge the elephants, and one man waves a yellow flag at the animals, for reasons unknown.

Eventually, one elephant breaks from the herd to charge the crowd. When one man tries to run from the elephant, he falls, and the animal steps on him several times before returning to the herd.

The victim was identified as 45-year-old Pachkal Mura. He was rushed to a nearby hospital; however, he died from his injuries later that evening.

The video has received more than 180,000 views and nearly 10,000 likes on Twitter. Commenters were stunned by the footage. In response to Kaswan's tweet, many agreed that the blame lays solely on the crowd of people, who commenters felt provoked the elephant.

"Tragic... They should have been calmly bowed down and given respect to the magnificent creature and let them pass to [the] jungle," expressed one commenter. "Instead they were rioting and made havoc that resulted in a loss of precious life. What a waste, and also horrifying. Blame to the crowd collectively."

Tragic... They should have been calmly bowed down and given respect to the magnificent creature and let them pass to jungle. Instead they were rioting and made havoc that resulted in a loss of precious life. What a waste, and also horrifying. Blame to the crowd collectively.

— ๐•ฌ๐–›๐–Ž๐–“๐–†๐–˜๐– ๐•พ๐–†๐–๐–†๐–Ž (@Avinash_Sahai) July 26, 2021

"clearly visible whom to blame, elephants were crossing minding their own business and everyone is provoking them," another person tweeted.

Journalist Janani Sampath Veeravalli replied: "Humans...I wonder why it is so difficult to live and let live."

Humans...I wonder why it is so difficult to live and let live.

— Janani Sampath Veeravalliโœ๏ธ ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ (@jananisampath) July 27, 2021

Recent data from the Union Environment Ministry showed that more than 2,300 people were killed by elephants in India between 2014 and 2019. Data from the ministry also shows that over 500 people, as well as 100 elephants, die in India each year as a result of human-elephant conflict.

Multiple reports cite that the loss of their natural habitat is driving elephants to populated areas, resulting in the sometimes fatal conflict.

Herd of Asian elephants
A video posted to Twitter shows an Indian man being trampled to death by an elephant. Many commenters blamed the crowd for provoking the attack. This image shows a herd of Asian elephants. Thipwan/iStock