Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Tusker named Ganesha

Sounds too good to be true, but then elephants are funny creatures (and this is not the first time this has happened, see below).
At least it is heartening to know that the baby has survived the attack and is out of danger.

The bad news is that elephant and their habitats are under siege (from villagers locally and Chinese globally).   
Will there be any wild life left by the time this baby grows up? Ganesha will then live only in paintings and temples. That will be a profound tragedy.
A tusker smashed a house to bits in a village in West Bengal's Purulia district on Monday night but when it heard a 10-month-old baby crying under the debris, it turned back and carefully removed every last bit of stone, brick and mortar from the infant's body before heading back to the forest.

...Mother Lalita Mahato said: "We worship Lord Ganesh (the elephant god) in our village. Still, I can't believe that the tusker saved my daughter after breaking down the door and smashing a wall. We watched amazed as it gently removed the debris that had fallen on her. It's a miracle."

The child's father, Dipak Mahato, said they were having dinner around 8pm when they suddenly heard a "cracking sound" and then a huge crash from the bedroom. "We ran over and were shocked to see the wall in pieces and a tusker standing over our baby. She was crying and there were huge chunks of the wall lying all around and on the cot," he said. "The tusker started moving away but when our child started crying again, it returned and used its trunk to remove the debris."

They took the girl to Deben Mahato Sadar Hospital. She has some external injuries from the debris falling on her but is not in danger. Hospital superintendent Neelanjana Sen said the infant is stable but they will keep her under observation for 48 hours.

A similar incident had been reported in Jalpaiguri's Madarihat about six months ago when an elephant herd carefully removed a little girl from harm's way before smashing several houses.


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