Enraged elephant wrecks vehicles in India

In late February, an elephant being used in a religious festival in India became enraged and rampaged through an area full of parked vehicles. The incident happened on February 25 in the town of Kongrad, which is located in the Palakkad district of Kerala. The elephant, whose name is Devidasan, was tethered to the ground and attended by two mahouts when he apparently decided that he'd had enough of festival work. Seizing an opportunity for escape, he pulled free of his tether and took off into town.

Video of the incident taken by a festival attendee and acquired by Indian Express shows the elephant meandering down a narrow road through the village sowing fear and destruction. With two helpless and likely terrified mahouts on his back, Devidasan began methodically destroying a number of vehicles parked along the road. He started with some scooters and motorbikes, tore up a couple of tuk-tuks, then moved on to demolishing a few cars and vans. In between all the vehicular destruction, Devidasan took the time to menace local villagers and charge groups of men trying to corral him. The mahouts can be seen trying to calm the enraged elephant, but he is clearly not having it. There were, thankfully, no reported injuries during Devidisan's outburst.

The video, which went viral almost immediately after it was posted to Facebook, further stoked an ongoing debate about using elephants for entertainment. Numerous elephants have run amok recently throughout India, including one in January who went on a shop-destroying rampage through another Kerala town in January, and another who smashed up a Bengal town earlier in February. The growing frequency of these incidents throughout India has given rise to an increase in complaints from villagers who are tired of angry elephants destroying their property.

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