Elephants wreak havoc in northeast India

Associated Press, 12/23/97 13:09

GAUHATI, India (AP) - India's northeastern state of Assam has requested federal permission to capture 200 rogue elephants.

This year alone, 23 people have been trampled to death by elephants who have left their natural habitat in the jungles to wander into human settlements. The rampaging pachyderms have also destroyed acres of crops.

Angry victims in the district of Nagaon have staged hunger strikes and marches to demand further action be taken against the elephants.

``We are trying our best to put an end to this problem, but the elephants do not seem to be scared of crackers or gunshots,'' S. Abbasi, a government official in Nagaon, told the Associated Press on Tuesday.

The federal government has approved capturing 20 elephants this year, but no trappers have volunteered because they are poorly paid.

Assam forest minister Nagen Sharma blamed the problem on an increase in the elephant population and declining habitat for them.

© Copyright 1997 Globe Newspaper Company

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