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.


Indian man wears gold face mask to ward off coronavirus

Updated 04 July 2020

Indian man wears gold face mask to ward off coronavirus

  • The precious metal covering weighs 60 grams (two ounces) and took craftsmen eight days to make

PUNE: An Indian man said he paid about $4,000 for a bespoke gold face mask to protect him from the coronavirus raging in the country.
The precious metal covering weighs 60 grams (two ounces) and took craftsmen eight days to make, said businessman Shankar Kurhade, from the western city of Pune.
“It is a thin mask and has tiny pores that is helping me to breathe,” Shankar told AFP.
“I am not sure if it will be effective to protect me from a coronavirus infection but I am taking other precautions,” he added.
When going out, the 49-year-old said he likes to adorn himself with gold jewelry weighing a kilogramme, including a bracelet, necklace and rings on each finger of his right hand.
Kurhade — whose company makes industrial sheds — said he got the idea for the gold face mask after seeing a media report about a man wearing one made from silver.
“People are asking me for selfies,” he said.
“They are awestruck when they see me wearing the gold mask in markets.”
India has made face masks mandatory in public places in a bid to control the spread of the virus in the country, which has around 650,000 confirmed cases and more than 18,600 fatalities.