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Tipsy Elephants Kill Three Assam Villagers

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johnno

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Guwahati, Oct 27 : Three people have been trampled to death and two more wounded in a drunken rout by wild elephants in India's northeastern state of Assam.

Wildlife officials said Wednesday that a herd of about a dozen elephants went amok after drinking rice beer Tuesday in Marongi, a tribal village 290 km east of Assam's main city of Guwahati.

"After entering the village the elephants first guzzled locally made rice beer kept in drums and then went on a rampage, killing three people, including a woman," the official said.

Two villagers injured in the attack were shifted to hospital with multiple wounds.

During the past fortnight, herds of wild elephants have been wreaking havoc in several parts of eastern Assam, especially in villages where tribal people brew large volumes of rice beer.

"There have been several incidents of elephants drinking country liquor and then going berserk, at times plundering granaries and tearing apart huts, besides inflicting fatal attacks on human beings," noted elephant expert Kushal Konwar Sharma told IANS.

Experts say wild elephants have been moving out of the jungles with people encroaching upon animal corridors leading to an increasing number of elephant attacks on villages.

"A shrinking forest cover and encroachment of elephant corridors have forced the pachyderms to stray out of their habitats into human settlement areas," said Assam Forest Minister Pradyut Bordoloi.

Earlier, villagers drove away marauding herds by beating drums or bursting firecrackers. But as elephants increasingly stray into human habitat, the conflict has egged villagers to poison the animals.

In the last five years, elephants have killed at least 150 people in Assam.

Angry villagers, in turn, have killed up to 200 of the animals during the same period, some of which were brought down with poisoned-tipped arrows.

The minister said 27 elephants had been poisoned to death across Assam in the past three years with villagers, harassed by raids on their farms by wild elephants looking for food, were believed to have killed the animals.

Forensic experts later confirmed presence of a highly toxic pesticide on the elephant carcasses.

"The villagers, to avoid depredation, possibly mixed the pesticide with rice beer that the elephants guzzled," an elephant expert said.

The last elephant census in 1999 recorded 5,400 elephants in Assam, more than half of India's count of 10,000.

From here
 

MCWB

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Bloody hell, lock up those fermenters boys! :eek:
 

Kai

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Elephants are mean drunks.

Imagine how much one of those would put away in a session.
 

TasChris

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How much would an elephant need to drink to be over .05?
 

TasChris

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Found this site.
http://www.nt.gov.au/health/healthdev/aodp.../bacmeter.shtml
If you type in the weight and sex of an elephant you can see the effect of alcohol on decision making.
An elephant weighing in at 2.5 tonne can drink 77 drinks (can of mid strength) to reach 0.05 but is according to the program,
"Cheerful.
Loss of control.
Poor judgement.
Decisions may be affected."
nothing better than a cheerful elephant
 

Doc

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I was watching an episode of the Thirsty Traveller a couple of weeks ago on the Marula plant from Africa. The elephants go nuts for that too. They take out villages huts looking for the fruit too. They showed some of the damage that the elephants cause. Ugly ugly.
Nothing like being woken up in the middle of the night by a drunken marauding elephant :eek:

Doc
 

Rubes

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Bloody elephants. I see them everywhere these days!

elephant.jpg
 

Doc

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They are still on the loose. :(

Doc

Elephants Rampage Through India Villages

Sat Nov 13, 1:58 PM ET World - AP
By WASBIR HUSSAIN, Associated Press Writer

GAUHATI, India - Wild elephant herds have been terrorizing India's remote northeast, killing people, flattening houses and even guzzling local rice beer supplies, prompting villagers to retaliate against the pachyderms with firecrackers and bonfires.

With an estimated 5,000 elephants, Assam state has the largest concentration of wild Asiatic elephants in India, said M.C. Malakar, Assam's Chief Wildlife Warden.

The big herds, faced with shrinking forest cover and human encroachment of their corridors, venture into human settlements looking for food and attack those who try to stop them.

The wild elephants have stampeded across the region, stomping down houses and feasting on standing crops, Pradyut Bordoloi, Assam state's forest minister, said Saturday.

Rice beer is an attraction. Workers in tea plantations in Assam make rice beer at home and store it in drums.

"There are many instances of wild elephants guzzling the brew and returning for more," Bordoloi said.

Wild elephants have killed at least 22 people so far this year in the state, wildlife authorities say. A rapidly shrinking habitat is the main reason for elephants killing more than 600 people in the past 15 years, the authorities say.

On Oct. 26, wild elephants guzzled rice beer kept in drums in Marongi, a village about 175 miles east of Assam's main city of Gauhati, and then went on a rampage, trampling three people to death and wounding two others, India media reported.

Wildlife officials and villagers use firecrackers and bonfires to scare away the large herds, Bordoloi told The Associated Press. Villagers also beat on drums.

Officials also use electric fences and dig trenches, but these are meant to protect people from elephant attacks, not to scare the elephants.

In 2001, at least 19 wild elephants were poisoned to death by angry villagers, Bordoloi said.

Satellite imagery showed that as many as 113,315 acres of thick forests were cleared by human encroachers in 1996-2000, leading to the breakup of traditional elephant corridors and their habitat, Bordoloi said.

A government ban on capturing elephants and restrictions on sending them to other states has aggravated Assam's problem.

The state has created buffer zones to tackle the menace. An area on the periphery of villages is cultivated with plants found palatable by the elephants, and the second layer has plants like mustard that elephants shun.

Authorities are encouraging the farmers to buy crop insurance and are raising compensation to the families of those killed by elephants.

"The idea is to prevent angry villagers from retaliating and attempting to kill raiding elephants," Bordoloi said. "The elephants are a part of our heritage and we have to coexist."
 

johnno

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Angry :angry: drunk :chug: elephants sounds like a lot of trouble.
 

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