Assam: Wild Elephants Trample Elderly Couple to Death in Chaygaon

The couple went to Bogai Reserve Forest Hills for cultivation in the early morning when the tragic incident happened.
Assam: Wild Elephants Trample Elderly Couple to Death in Chaygaon

Boko: In another tragic incident of man-elephant conflict, an elderly couple was fatally trampled by a herd of wild elephants on Monday at Bogai Reserve Forest in Assam's Chaygaon. The victims, Thuleswar Rabha (55) and Nilima Rabha (50), were residents of Kochpara village in Chaygaon.

The unfortunate event occurred when the couple ventured to the hills of Bogai Reserve Forest for cultivation early in the morning. Local sources reported that the bodies were discovered by villagers who had gone to collect firewood in the area.

The couple was known to engage in daily cultivation activities on the hillside. As soon as the bodies were found, the villagers, along with the Boko police, Bamunigaon Forest officials, and a medical team, were promptly notified. They swiftly arrived at the scene and recovered the bodies.

Incidents of human and elephant conflicts have been frequent in the West Kamrup Divisional Forest, particularly along the Assam-Meghalaya border area. Dasarath Rabha, Nilima Rabha's brother, mentioned that a herd of wild elephants had strayed into the area and attacked the couple.

According to sources from the Forest Department, the area where the tragedy occurred is allegedly exploited by smugglers for charcoal production and wood storage. Wild elephants often enter the area in search of food, leading to potential conflicts. It is suspected that the couple was killed by the wild elephants.

During the retrieval of the bodies, locals, accompanied by police and forest officials, claimed to have noticed wood logs and charcoal packets at the site, indicating their preparation for sale to smugglers.

The state forest department had previously organized numerous awareness camps and meetings to educate villagers about mitigating human-elephant conflicts.

In a separate incident last year in August, a 40-year-old woman named Alka Biswas was trampled to death by a wild elephant in Assam's Tamulpur district along the Indo-Bhutan international border. The tragic occurrence took place at Angarkata Santipur village, and the victim was attacked while fetching water from a nearby stream. The herd of wild elephants had entered the village in search of food and water, causing damage to houses and fields in the area.

Similarly, in July of the same year, a 26-year-old man suffered severe injuries in an elephant attack in Guwahati's Satgaon area. The incident occurred near the 'Sani' temple in the Amsing Jorabat area. A bystander's video captured the moment when the wild elephant struck the man with its trunk, rendering him unconscious. The injured man was immediately rushed to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in critical condition. The elephant had ventured out of the nearby Amchang wildlife sanctuary in search of food and freely roamed around the Satgaon market area.

Human-elephant conflict has become a grave concern in Assam, especially due to the extensive destruction of forest lands. As Assam boasts the country's second-highest elephant population, the increasing trend of human-elephant conflicts has resulted in significant casualties. Over the past decade, 812 people and 900 elephants have lost their lives due to the escalating competition for land. Human casualties are more prevalent during the dry season when elephants move out of their habitat in search of food and water.


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