A wild elephant crushed to death a forest watcher’s wife on Monday in a village under the Terai East forest division in Uttarakhand’s Kumaon region.
“A woman was walking outside her house at Haripur Thathola village in Haldwani district, which falls under the Goula range of the Terai East forest division. Suddenly, she saw a wild elephant near her house and tried to chase it away. Unfortunately, the elephant crushed her to death,” said RP Joshi, ranger, Goula range.
“Her screams alerted the family members, who rushed out of the house to rescue her, but she was dead by then,” he said.
The victim has been identified as Parvati Dev, (62), whose husband Trilok Ram is a forest watcher in the Kishanpur range under Terai East forest division, said officials.
Her body has been sent for an autopsy.
“The department has sanctioned a compensation of Rs 3 lakh for the next of kin of the deceased. Officials, who are on patrolling duty, have been directed to be more alert regarding elephant movement in the area,” Joshi said.
This is not the first incident of elephants killing locals in the hill state in the recent past.
On June 17, a forest watcher (51) was crushed to death by a wild elephant in Chorgaliya.
In May, a labourer (65) working in Chilla range of Rajaji National Park was mauled to death by a tusker.
Last November, a man (52) died after a wild elephant pulled him out of a moving bus and flung him near Corbett Tiger Reserve.
In the same month, a wild elephant killed two persons, including a woman, in Haridwar district after the pachyderm went on a rampage in two adjoining villages.
In June last year, a man (60) was crushed to death by a wild elephant in the forests of Kaladungi area in Nainital district.
Uttarakhand has 2,026 elephants, according to the latest census.
The aggression of elephants in Uttarakhand’s Corbett and Rajaji landscape and Terai areas has become a cause for concern for wildlife officials.
Human-elephant conflict is taking a toll on locals’ lives and the pachyderms are also dying due to electrocution or hit by running trains.