A tigress that strayed into Deulbari village of West Bengal's South 24 Parganas district on the outskirts of the Sunderban Tiger Reserve (STR), was pelted with stones and beaten by local residents as it lay in a sedated state in a pond after being darted by forest personnel with tranquillisers and forced down a palm tree atop which it had taken shelter on Monday morning. The frightened animal was rescued from the pond and taken by forest staff for examination by veterinarians. It was to be released into the forests, N. Singhal, Field Director, STR, said.

The Government has formulated guidelines for mercy killing of elephants suffering from debilitating injury in a bid to relieve the animal from pain and distress. The move has come in the wake of the case of Arundhati, an aging elephant which died after suffering for long due to a fractured leg in Uttrakhand late last year. While authorities debated over the mercy killing, the pachyderm went through severe agony in the process and died before it could be put to sleep.

The Citizens' Welfare Forum, Jorhat, has expressed serious concern over the depredations wreaked by herds of wild elephants in Jorhat and Majuli subdivisions. In a strongly-worded statement, office-bearers of the body have asked Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain to visit the jumbo-ravaged areas of Majuli to assess the losses suffered by poor sections of people residing on saporis. If an outcry is raised against the killing of rhinos in Kaziranga National Park, adequate attention should be paid to the rampage caused by wild elephants, too, the forum members reasoned.

Three wild elephants, which were tailing a herd towards Kaziranga National Park, trampled to death one Baap Hazarika (70) and injured two others at Sial Chapori near Dergaon last night. The body of the deceased man was recovered this morning. Hazarika is the fifth victim in jumbo attacks which took place in the riverine areas along the Brahmaputra river this year. Meanwhile, the marauding jumbo herd, which had been driven away towards the national park, destroyed the Mohpora forest camp under Agaratoli range of KNP. There are no reports of any casualty.

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