BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Urdu Hindi Pashto Bengali Tamil Nepali Sinhala
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: World: South Asia  
News Front Page
World
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent
-------------
Letter From America
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Education
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
CBBC News
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 17 December, 2002, 15:38 GMT
Drunk elephants kill six people
Indian elephants
Assam is home to half of India's elephants
Drunken elephants have trampled at least six people to death in the northeast Indian state of Assam, local officials say.

The herd of wild elephants stumbled across the supplies of homemade rice beer after they destroyed granaries in search of food.

The incident happened near Tinsukia, 550 kilometres (344 miles) from the Assam capital, Guwahati.

"They smashed huts and plundered granaries and broke open casks to drink rice beer. The herd then went berserk killing six people," a forestry official told AFP news agency.

Police said four of those killed were children.

According to experts, elephants often emerge from Assam's forests in search of food.

But much to the annoyance of the local residents, they destroy rice fields and granaries.

Environmental questions

Growing elephant numbers and the devastation of the animal's natural habitat are partly to blame for the problem.

Officials in Assam say at least 150 people have been killed by elephants in the last two years.

The deaths have led villagers to kill up to 200 elephants.

"It has been noticed that elephants have developed a taste for rice beer and local liquor and they always look for it when they invade villages," an elephant expert in Guwahati told Reuters news agency.

The region is home to more than half of India's elephant population, estimated at 10,000.

The Assam Government's protection of elephants over the last 20 years, including a ban on their hunting, has led numbers to increase to about 5,500.

See also:

31 Aug 02 | Science/Nature
14 Oct 02 | Science/Nature
30 Oct 02 | Hardtalk
04 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
14 May 02 | Science/Nature
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes