Villagers in southeastern Nepal are afraid to leave their homes after 11 people were killed by an elephant on a rampage over the past two weeks, the Times of India said on Wednesday.
The elephant is likely to have come by an ancient elephant route from the forests of India's state of Assam. It was apparently attacked by humans on its way and strayed off the path.
The first killing occurred in late November. Later, the animal killed four more people in the same village in the course of three days, including two women and a seven-year-old child.
When villagers chased the animal away, it killed three men in a neighboring village. His victims included a teenager, who tried to worship the animal as Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu "Elephant God" by offering it a garland of flowers.
The enraged animal later ran into the forest, where it trampled to death three people who were collecting firewood.
Local foresters say they are not authorized to kill the animal, which is a protected species in Nepal.
"We need to educate villagers," a WWF expert told the Times of India. "They tend to irritate the elephants and attack them to make them go away. An injured elephant mostly turns rogue and begins to counterattack indiscriminately. We have to teach them to let the animals go their own route unhindered."
NEW DELHI, December 9 (RIA Novosti)