Wild elephant kills 11 in Nepal

Wildlife officials were combing the jungles of southern Nepal today in search of a wild elephant which has killed 11 people in the past two weeks.

District Forest Officer Yadav Dhital said wildlife guards were trying to track the elusive animal but had been unable to find any traces.

The elephant has killed 11 people in three districts of southern Nepal, about 200 miles (320km) south of the capital, Kathmandu, he said.

The animal keeps disappearing into the jungle and local villagers, who mostly live in one-storey huts, are scared, Mr Dhital said, adding that villagers have been using smoke, firecrackers and drums to try to keep it away.

One of the villagers who was killed was attempting to worship the animal as Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu god, he said.

Bedh Karki, a government administrator in the area, said local authorities were waiting for help and orders from the central government on dealing with the situation.

Elephants are considered protected species in Nepal and can be shot only with orders from the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, Mr Karki said.

Officials believe the animal recently crossed into Nepal from neighbouring India.

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