An elephant which had strayed from nearby Baikunthapur forest to Siliguri town went on a rampage on Sevak Road for around seven hours on Wednesday damaging nearly 200 houses and shops including some vehicles before it was tranquilised.
It carried out massive destruction in Siliguri town and a village adjacent to Baikuntha Nagar forest where it came from before the full grown tusker was finally tranquilised by the Forest Department officials. It took around nearly eight hours for the forest department to tranquilise the animal and later it was lifted on a truck with the help of two cranes. Forest official had to administer three tranquilisers. It was a difficult time for the police to manage a large number of people gathered there to have glimpses of the wild tusker.
The elephant suffered some injuries on various parts of its body as inquisitive mob congregated in the area threw stones at the animal to drive it away.
Forest department officials said that the elephant got puzzled after seeing a large number of people in Siliguri and carried out massive destruction for several hours before it was tranquilised.
A senior forest department official said that animal has an injury in one of its eyes. Presence of curious onlookers led to the traffic snarls giving a trying time to the forest and police personnel.
There was, however, no report of any injury in the incident. People went berserk after they spotted the wild animal gazing on the road in Siliguri. Some took out their mobile phones and captured photograph of the animal, while other enthusiasts tried to pose selfy with the animal on the background. As a result of this, forest department officials and police had to face difficulties to bring the situation under control.
The elephant strayed from Baikunthanagar forest and entered Siliguri town. The villagers first spotted the animal at Dabgram, Fulbari areas under ward numbers 30 and 40 of Siliguri Town. People present in the area got panicked and started running here and there. Police said that it entered Sevak Road at around 10.30 am and grazed there till 12.30 pm and thereby damaging several houses and shops and some vehicles. Forest department said that early in the morning the elephant came from Baikunthanagar forest and entered into a village adjacent to the forest. As the animal was chased by the villagers, it entered Siliguri town. The animal carried out maximum damages as it was injured when the mob threw stones. The tusker also over turned a jeep of forest department.
The animal will be set free at Sukna forest after being treated, a senior official from the state forest department said.