Jumbo crushes selfie seeker to death

Angul: A 50-year-old man was crushed to death by a wild tusker while trying to take a selfie with the animal in the background at Nuapada village near the Khamar kendu leaf forest range on Monday.

The tusker had got separated from its herd and strayed into the village. The deceased, Jaydeb Nayak, a resident of the nearby Mundarbea village, tried to take a selfie with the animal when it turned around and crushed him to death near the Madhapala temple on the village outskirts.

A forest official said this was the second death recorded in the state while taking a selfie with the animals.

“The pachyderm lifted him with its trunk and crushed him. Though hundreds of people were watching, none could come to his rescue,” said Khamar police station inspector Chitta Ranjan Behera.

The family members of the deceased will receive an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh, according to prescribed rules for human deaths from attacks by protected animals. The forest department has launched a drive to chase away the tusker back to its habitation corridors, said a forest official.

A youth was trampled to death by a wild elephant while trying to take a selfie with an elephant near Mandiakudar village of Kuanramunda forest range in Rourkela on September 1, while a man in Dhenkanal was seriously injured in a similar attempt to take a selfie with a tusker in June.

Elephant depredation into places of human habitation has reached a flashpoint across the state in the past week with the animals killing five persons in Nuapada, Keonjhar and Angul districts. The animals continue to ravage crop fields and stray into villages in Keonjhar. The forest officials have, so far, failed to drive away a herd of 23 elephants that has sneaked into villages lying close to Keonjhar district headquarters township.