KOLKATA, India — A wild elephant rampaged through a west Indian town on Wednesday, smashing homes and sending frightened residents running.
As the panicked elephant ran amok, trampling parked cars and motorbikes, crowds of people gathered to watch from balconies and roof tops. Some followed from a distance as the elephant moved through the streets.
A wild elephant that strayed into the town stands after authorities shot it with a tranquilizer gun at Siliguri in West Bengal state, India, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. Photo: Associated Press
The elephant had wandered from the Baikunthapur forest, crossing roads and a small river before entering the town of Siliguri in West Bengal state.
Divisional Forest Officer Basab Rai said the female elephant appeared to be a loner, and was likely searching for food when it strayed into the town.
People run as they follow a wild elephant that strayed into the town of Siliguri in West Bengal state, India, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. Photo: Associated Press
He said it did not attack any people, and appeared to be afraid of anyone approaching. After several hours, it became clear the elephant was unable to find its way back to the forest.
Authorities eventually shot the elephant three times with a tranquilizer gun and used a crane to lift it into a truck once it had calmed down.
Authorities use a crane to remove a wild elephant that strayed into the town after tranquilizing it at Siliguri in West Bengal state, India, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. Photo: Associated Press
It was then taken to a special park for domesticated pachyderms that is maintained by the forest department. Once the effect of the tranquilizer wore off, authorities planned to return the elephant to the forest, Rai said.
Story: Manik Banerjee / Associated Press