Shoot-to-kill: India hunts serial killer elephant

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An elephant blamed for killing 15 people in eastern India for the past few months was shot dead on Friday. The tusker faces the threat of being shot if it is not brought under control in the next few days, forest officials said.

"It was quite a hard operation because of the thick bushes and since the animal had turned rogue it charged at us before I pulled the trigger", Khan said.

"This entire belt is inhabited by native tribal communities who have co-existed with wildlife for centuries, the elephant's behavior - that he was literally stalking humans - is still a mystery", Khan told reporters. The rocky terrain and thick vegetation and visibility of just 15 feet of Sahibganj district made it impossible for capturing the elephant.

Singh said the elephant was also believed to have killed four people in the neighbouring state of Bihar before that.

Animal lovers expressed their anger on the decision of Jharkhand government to shoot an elephant ahead of World Elephant Day on August 12. For the past week, 24×7 forest department team has been trying their best. "He has vast experience in shooting such rogue animals and that's why he has been given the responsibility to shoot the elephant", he said.

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Forest official believes that the marauding elephant must have lost his way when he separated from its herd. "We are brainstorming for a solution.one of them is to shoot the animal".

In this shootout mission, the Jharkhand government hired the only licenced hunter in India, Nawab Shafat Ali Khan from Hyderabad.

According to forest officials, a hunter shot two bullets on the head of the animal, and another round was sacked as a confirmation shot. He was given licensed to kill a man eating tiger by the Uttar Pradesh in 2014.

Violent encounters between elephants and humans have been on the rise, as human activities and expansion of settlements leave little room for wild elephants to roam.

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