A 70-year-old man was killed when an elephant ran amok in a village adjacent to Rajdihi Forest at Jhargram in West Midnapore on Sunday.
Police said the victim Monomath Mahato was a resident of the area and the incident occurred when he tried to drive the elephants away.
Five tuskers from towards Baita entered Rajdihi Forest by crossing a rivulet. The tuskers entered the forest in search of food and caused damage in the villages adjacent to the jungle.
Around 30 to 40 people live in these small villages. The villagers including the victim were determined to drive the tuskers back across the rivulet or else it would have let to a heavy loss of food grains that they have recently stored in their houses.
Around eight to ten persons went ahead to drive the elephants away.
Others managed to flee when elephants chased them but being an aged person, Mahato failed to run. He was trampled by an elephant. The local residents failed to rescue him.
Later, officials of the state forest department rushed to the spot and drove the elephants back to the jungle.
The officials rescued Mahato and took him to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead.
According to an official of the forest department, the tuskers use the area as a corridor and they attack the villagers if chased or stones thrown at them.
The officials advised the villagers not to risk their lives to drive the elephants away. Instead, they must give an immediate call to the forest department officials.
It may be mentioned that herds of around 150 elephants pass through the area in every season. The local people had urged the forest department to take initiative to set up a wildlife reserve in the area.
But it would have not been possible as there are many small villages inside the jungle.