An elephant in eastern India killed a 70-year-old woman and then returned to her funeral to trample her body.
Police said the accident occurred in the state of Odisha on Thursday.
Maya Mormo was at a tube well drawing water in Raipal village in Mayorbhang district when the wild elephant appeared out of nowhere.
Authorities said they veered off the Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, about 200 km from Mayorbhang.
Police officer Lopamudra Nayak was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying that after she was run over, she was taken to the hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.
Reports stated that when family members gathered for the funeral and were in the middle of performing the last rites, the same elephant appeared, lifted Mrs. Mormo’s body from the funeral pyre and trampled it again, while the mourners were in shock.
The family was only able to move forward with the party after the elephant had gone. It remains unclear whether the animal harmed anyone else.
Conflicts between elephants and humans are common in Odisha. Intense industrial activity in the mineral-rich state has increased human encroachment on animal habitats, increasing the chances of confrontations between villagers and elephants.
There was a worrying trend in the state as well An increase in the number of unnatural deaths of elephants. At least 1,356 elephants have died in Odisha since 2000-2001, according to data provided by the state’s chief wildlife monitor, IANS news agency reported.
At least 42 elephant deaths were recorded in the state in just seven months from April to October last year.
Several other incidents of conflict between humans and elephants have been reported from other parts of the country.
In March this year, a woman was killed in an attack by a wild elephant in a forest in Bilaspur district of central Chhattisgarh state. Police said her eight-year-old grandson was injured while trying to escape.
In May, an elephant ran a 40-year-old woman to death outside her home near Gudalur, in the Nilgiris district of the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
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