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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 December 2006, 08:41 GMT
India's killer elephant shot dead
Villagers and hunters look on at a male elephant nicknamed Laden, that was killed by a hunter
Man has been encroaching on elephant habitats
A killer elephant, named after al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, has been shot dead in India's Assam state.

Laden was tracked down by professional elephant hunters after a shoot-to-kill order was issued following the death of a woman on Wednesday.

The rogue bull has trampled 14 people to death in the past six months in the north-eastern state, officials say.

Humans and elephants have come into greater conflict in recent years as man encroaches on jungle territories.

Elephant corridor

Villagers played drums and brandished flames to scare Laden into a corner of a tea estate after he was spotted there, Assam wildlife wardens told the BBC.

Map
"As the villagers did their bit to scare the rogue tusker, our forest guards kept firing in the air to drive Laden towards the trap hunter Dwipen Phukan had set for it.

"But it was no easy kill because once in sight of Phukan, the elephant charged furiously," said wildlife chief MC Malakar.

Mr Phukan, a licensed hunter, said: "It was charging towards me and I kept firing. Another few yards and it would have run over me."

Laden was branded a "rogue" - a violent, isolated elephant - in the summer after the deaths reached double figures.

He was given his name by villagers in Assam's eastern district of Sonitpur.

Assam sits on the corridor used by Siamese elephants, a corridor that stretches from northern Thailand to the foothills of Bhutan.

A similar rogue elephant killed 12 people in a day in 1992 in the same district of Sonitpur.


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