An elephant strayed into Burdwan town in West Bengal, injuring at least two people and destroying several huts before it was tranquilised on Tuesday, police said on Wednesday.
Officials said the elephant entered into Burdwan from Patrasayer in Bankura district.
“It entered Burdwan from Bankura in the morning crossing the river nearby and after injuring two persons who tried to get close. It crossed local villages and finally went to Burdwan town and entered the Golapbagh campus of Burdwan university,” Priyobrato Baxi, officer-in-charge of Burdwan police station, said.
District forest officer AK Dey told Hindustan Times that the elephant was bothered by curious onlookers, who were following it, and ventured into the university campus.
The campus was temporarily evacuated and state forest department officials tried to drive it away with the help of elephant driving squad that are locally known as ‘hula party’.
“I was inside the mess and suddenly on hearing a loud sound, I saw outside through the window and saw the elephant. A group of people were running behind it and shouting. We immediately left the hostel,” Somnath Kaiti, a student, said.
According to sources, the elephant also damaged over a dozen huts before entering the university campus, which has a large number of trees.
A large contingent of police was deployed in front of the campus so that no one could go inside. Police also warned locals to remain alert and not to venture out of their houses.
An initial attempt by the hula party, which came with firecrackers, to drive the elephant away failed because of the darkness.
Forest department officials were finally able to bring the elephant out of the campus and tranquilise it at around 1am, before shifting it to a wildlife sanctuary in north Bengal.
“We were ultimately able to tranquilise the elephant after midnight. An expert from Kolkata was brought in to tranquilise the elephant,” Dey said.