Elephant named after Osama bin Laden kills five people in India

‘In the past Laden has also attacked our villages and killed people and destroyed our paddy fields,’ villager says

Samuel Osborne@SamuelOsborne93
Saturday 02 November 2019 18:36
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Forest officials launched a major operation to track and contain the large mammal
Forest officials launched a major operation to track and contain the large mammal

An elephant named after Osama bin Laden has trampled five people to death in an Indian village.

The rogue bull, who was nicknamed Laden after the late al-Qaeda leader, attacked the Bolatar village in the north-eastern state of Assam earlier this week.

“But that was not all,” Rajen Rabnha, a local villager, told the Agence France-Presse news agency. “In the past Laden has also attacked our villages and killed people and destroyed our paddy fields.”

Forest officials launched a major operation to track and contain the large mammal.

Drones and domesticated elephants were used to observe Laden from a safe distance.

Assam’s forest minister said a committee including wildlife experts would decide what to do with the elephant.

“We are yet to decide on how to deal with the animal,” Parimal Shuklabaidya said. “There are suggestions that we should tranquillize the animal and take it to forest where there is no human habitation nearby.”

The welfare of the elephant as well as the safety of locals’ would be taken into account, Mr Shuklabaidya added.

Wildlife officials launched drones to observe Laden from a safe distance

Laden was spotted in the Kantaka Reserve on Thursday, the Northeast Now wesbsite reported.

“We have located and identified Laden in the reserve, which is about 15km from Tuesday’s incident site,” a forest officer told the news website. “The jumbo was visible for once or twice and then it went inside the jungle. Presently the elephant is trying to stay near its own herd taking shelter at the same reserve.”

Three forest teams were attempting to tranquillise the animal.

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It was not the first time a killer elephant was named after he mastermind behind the 11 September attacks.

Over the last six years, a tuskless bull named Osama killed at least 70 people in Assam.

The elephant’s corpse was discovered in a field near a village last month and it was believed angry villagers had electrocuted it to death.

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