Rogue ‘Bin Laden’ elephant caught in India after killing 5 people

The rogue elephant lies on the ground, surrounded by villagers, after been tranquilized by wildlife rangers, in Western Assam’s Goalpara district. (AFP)
Updated 11 November 2019

Rogue ‘Bin Laden’ elephant caught in India after killing 5 people

  • Wildlife rangers tracked the pachyderm dubbed ‘Laden’ through a forest for several days using drones and domesticated elephants
  • Nearly 2,300 people have been killed by elephants in India over the last five years, while 700 elephants have been killed since 2011

GUWAHATI: An elephant named after the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden that killed five Indian villagers has been caught after a massive operation to hunt down the creature, officials said Monday.
Wildlife rangers tracked the pachyderm — dubbed “Laden” by the locals it menaced in northeastern Assam state — through a forest for several days using drones and domesticated elephants.
“We started the final leg of the operation today... Two darts were fired by experts which had tranquilized the male elephant,” a senior forestry official told AFP.
“Now the work is on to shift the elephant to a forest where there is no human habitation nearby.”
The animal killed five people, including three women, during a 24-hour rampage through Goalpara district in October.
Officials said they would take the elephant’s welfare into account as well as the safety of people living nearby in deciding where it would be relocated
Nearly 2,300 people have been killed by elephants in India over the last five years, according to official figures released in June, while 700 elephants have been killed since 2011 — figures resulting in part from shrinking natural habitats.
Elephants frequently migrate into Goalpara, resulting in high numbers of fatal encounters with humans amid rampant deforestation.
Some elephants there have been poisoned or shot by locals, while others have died on electric fences or on railways cutting through migration routes.


Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall

Updated 08 December 2019

Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall

MIAMI: The move was bananas ... or maybe the work was just too appealing.
A performance artist shook up the crowd at the Art Basel show in Miami Beach on Saturday when he grabbed a banana that had been duct-taped to a gallery wall and ate it.
The banana was, in fact, a work of art by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan titled “Comedian” and sold to a French collector for $120,000.
In a video posted on his Instagram account, David Datuna, who describes himself as a Georgian-born American artist living in New York, walks up to the banana and pulls it off the wall with the duct tape attached.
“Art performance ... hungry artist,” he said, as he peeled the fruit and took a bite. “Thank you, very good.”
A few bystanders could be heard giggling before a flustered gallery official whisked him to an adjoining space for questioning.
But the kerfuffle was resolved without a food fight.
“He did not destroy the art work. The banana is the idea,” Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin, told the Miami Herald.
As it turns out, the value of the work is in the certificate of authenticity, the newspaper said. The banana is meant to be replaced.
A replacement banana was taped to the wall about 15 minutes after Datuna’s stunt.
“This has brought a lot of tension and attention to the booth and we’re not into spectacles,” Terras said. “But the response has been great. It brings a smile to a lot of people’s faces.”
Cattelan is perhaps best known for his 18-carat, fully functioning gold toilet called “America” that he had once offered on loan to US President Donald Trump.
The toilet, valued at around $5 to $6 million, was in the news again in September when it was stolen from Britain’s Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of wartime leader Winston Churchill, where it had been on display.