In January 2017, a herd of Indian elephants unleashed their wrath on a group of ill-fated poachers who crossed their path.
The herd crushed a suspected poacher to death and severely injured one of his companions in a forest near the Thattekad bird sanctuary located South of Indian.
According to forest officials who spoke to The Indian Express, the two suspected poachers were part of a four-member gang that had illegally entered the restricted forest to hunt.
Unfortunately for the gang, they snuck into the woods late at night and were not vigilant enough to notice that elephants were in their path until it was too late to escape the trap and avoid the stampede.
Forest officials told The Indian Express that:
“One of the gang members, a 26-year-old Tony, was crushed to death by an elephant. In the melee, a loaded unlicensed local gun he was also carrying accidentally went off, hitting his thigh.”
Basil, a 30-year-old who was also one of the gang members, was injured by the elephants during the stampede.
He was later admitted into a private hospital in Aluva, a nearby town, where medical experts revealed that he was in a critical condition.
The incident came to light after two other members of the gang, Anish and Sajith, disclosed what had happed in the forest to friends and relatives and word eventually got to the forest officials.
Poachers Likely To Spend 3-7 Years In Prison
In India, The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 was enacted by the Parliament for the protection of endangered animal and plant species.
Before this, India only had five designated national parks.
Among other reforms, the Act provides for the protection of wild animals, birds, and plants; it established schedules of protected plant and animal species; hunting or harvesting these species were prohibited.
The penalty for offenses relating to hunting or altering the boundaries of a sanctuary or national park and those relating to wild animals, their parts and products and the punishment, have been enhanced, the minimum jail term recommended by law is three years.