Wild elephant tramples a man to death in Samtse

Source: Tusker from Samtse Dzongkhag (WCD Picture file)

A 68-year-old man from Peljorling village under Tashicholing gewog in Samtse died on the spot after a male elephant tusker trampled him near his house yesterday.

The medical report cited that the cause of death was spinal injury as the spinal cord of the deceased was broken. The incident took place around 5:45 am on Friday morning.

The deceased who worked for a coffee plantation, was going to work as usual. On the way to work he went to the near-by forest approximately 50 meters away from his house to relieve himself. All of a sudden, one elephant who was feeding on the bamboo next to the house of the deceased chased him.

By the time, the forest officials, police, medical staff and other gewog staff reached the place, it was already too late. A forest official said that when humans and wild animals come in close confrontation, the wild animals get defensive and agitated.

The family of the deceased was given Nu 10,000 by forest officials. However, a forest official clarified that the amount was not to compensate the loss of life but as support to pay for necessities.

The amount on the compensation in such cases is being decided upon after the Department of Forest and Park Services (DoFPS) and the agriculture ministry supported the need to fix a reasonable amount in line with what government can pay. This would help protect species and also look after human welfare too, said the official.

The Chief Forest Officer with Wildlife Conservation Division, Sonam Wangchuk said that in order to avoid such circumstances, the division had met with the people of the gewog last year infusing awareness on eco-friendly ways to avoid such direct conflicts.

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