Maya Murmu, a 70-year-old Indian woman was trampled to death by a wild tusker and then by the same beast her corpse was attacked and pulled off from top of her funeral pyre in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district in India, police said on Saturday, June 11.
Murmu was collecting water from a tubewell in Raipal village, in the eastern Indian state of Odisha on Thursday, June 9 morning, when a wild elephant came barreling towards her, according to The Print India. The wild tusker had apparently escaped from the Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, which is located in the neighboring state of Jharkhand.
The uncontrolled elephant stomped over the woman, following which she was taken to the nearby hospital where she ultimately succumbed to death from the injuries, Rasgovindpur police station inspector Lopamudra Nayak said.
Even after the death, the woman’s body was trampled again by the same beast. In the evening, when Murmu’s family members were performing her last rites, the tusker arrived there suddenly and took the corpse from the pyre.
The elephant then trampled her body again, tossed her body, and ran away, the local outlet reported. A few hours later the family of the deceased was able to continue the funeral ceremony and the elephant did not return.
Wild animal attacks in India
Climate change has become one of the major factors for elephants attacking humans. In India, 500 people are thought to be killed by elephants every year, mainly in crop-raiding incidents.
In 2021, India Today reported that 3,310 people had died from elephant attacks in the last 7 years. In April 2022, the Indian Express reported that elephants trampled six people, including a young girl, in the Dhamtari district of India.
The lack of natural habitat has pushed wild animals to intervene in the human settlement in India. Elephants are increasingly entering close to human settlements to feed on their domestic stocks. There is a number of incidents that have been reported about wild animal attacks on humans in India according to a report by the Walk Through India.
Most of the Elephant attacks have been reported in South India, especially in Kerala where Elephants are worshiped in the state. Elephants are in the culture of Kerala. Around 300 people have been killed annually in the human-elephant conflict in India.