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.


Egyptian sculptor defends work after barrage of mockery

Updated 03 August 2020

Egyptian sculptor defends work after barrage of mockery

  • Users mocked the statue on social media saying it did not look pretty at all
  • The artist insisted that the piece is “a personal artistic experience”

CAIRO: Egyptians have mercilessly mocked an artwork labeled as “Egypt Rising” by sculptor Ahmed Abdel Naby after many on social media said it looked “distorted” and “ugly”.
The white marble statue appears to depict a woman seated, dressed in a traditional “jalabiya,” with a head cover and braided hair falling over her left shoulder. 
The artwork was shared on the artist’s official page with him proudly posing next to it. But images of what he said is an unfinished piece have been trending on Twitter and Facebook as many users thought the statue did not look pretty at all.  
“In the beginning, I thought this marble statue called ‘Egypt Rising’ is just a silly joke, but apparently … the scandal is real!” well-known Egyptian author Yousef Ziedan wrote on his Facebook page. 
A few others were keen to support the sculptor until he finished his work before they can make up their mind. 
The artist said the statue pictures were initially shared on his personal account for his friends to see, but he was surprised by the huge criticism it received.
He also apologized to his Facebook followers for what he described as an “influx of abusive comments” posted on his page over the statue’s photos. 
He insisted on saying that the piece is “a personal artistic experience” and that no official authority has tasked him to construct it, Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reported.
Abdel Naby said his artwork depicts a woman who is trying to get out of a stone block that she is trapped in. 
He defended his work saying many people did not understand the complexity of sculpting marble as opposed to other materials.
It is not the first time Egyptian sculptors have been heavily criticized on social media after unveiling their statues. 
Most famous in recent years was a statue of Egyptian footballer and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah by sculptor Mai Abdallah, which was unveiled in 2018. The depiction of Salah with an enormous head and tiny limbs was heavily mocked by social media users.


In 2015, a huge bust of Queen Nefertiti was removed from public display in the Upper Egypt city of Samalout after locals compared it to Frankenstein.

A huge bust of Queen Nefertiti has been removed from the Upper Egypt of Samaloot after locals compared it to Frankenstein. (Image courtesy: Ahram Online)


In 2018, a bronze statue of Khedive Ismail Pasha, the 19th Century Ottoman ruler of Egypt and Sudan, had been clumsily painted a part of restoration work in black and white, making the once great Khedive appear more like a badly-drawn cartoon character.

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