"The elephant was scared and was trying to go back to the jungle," said 40-year-old homemaker Papaiya Sarkar.
Eventually, the massive pachyderm was shot with a tranquilizer three times and then lifted with a crane and placed on a truck, before being carried out of town and brought to a forest department park for domesticated elephants. Authorities planned to return her to the forest once the tranquilizers wear off.
Elephants coming in contact with humans has been growing increasingly common as their habitats shrink, and in India and Sri Lanka, more than 400 elephants and 250 humans are killed in such encounters each year.
Indian elephants are endangered and face extreme threats of habitat loss and illegal poaching. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has found that the population size has decreased at least 50% over the last three generations.