Furious villagers launched fireballs at a terrified elephant mother and her calf in an attempt to scare them away from a settlement.
The majestic creatures were cruelly attacked by locals in eastern India, prompting an outcry from animal rights activists around the world.
Disturbing images, taken in Bishnupur, show the panicked animals fleeing as residents hurled flaming sticks and chased them with batons to deter them from damaging properties.
Reports claim that deforestation has forced the confused animals into areas inhabited by humans. Other heartbreaking photos show a group of elephants attempting to navigate a railway line which runs straight through their habitat. In another image, the herd are pelted with rocks.
The shocking pictures have angered animal rights activists around the world. They have called for more to be done to protect elephants from encroaching deforrestation.
Photographer Biplab Hazra, who captured the attack, has demanded an end to the destruction of the elephant habitats in the area.
He told Caters: “This happens because the villagers have to save their crops. There are many elephant corridors in human habitations. I’m trying to show this and spread my photos to increase public awareness on the matter.”
Footage emerged several years ago of a man being trampled to death by a wild elephant in Sri Lanka as his distraught family watched on.
The man jumped out of his car in Kataragama, near Yala National Park, in a bid to stop the elephant and hypnotise it. But his “trick” spectacularly failed when the huge animal turned and ran towards him, knocking him to the ground as he tried to get away.
The elephant then lifts one of its rights leg and tramples him, crushing him to death immediately.
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This article by Neil Murphy was first published by The Mirror on 13 September 2023. Lead Image: Caters News Agency.