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J Forensic Leg Med. 2011 May;18(4):154-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2011.01.017. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

Human fatalities from wild elephant attacks--a study of fourteen cases.

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Department of Forensic and State Medicine, Bankura Sammilani Medical College, Bankura, West Bengal, India.


Human-wild elephant conflicts are frequently reported from various parts of the country. Encroaching of animal habitat by human civilization is a primary reason for this. The present study comprises of fourteen autopsy cases conducted at the department of Forensic Medicine, B.S Medical College, Bankura, West Bengal, India over a period of three years. The study attempts to find out the nature of injuries caused by wild elephant attack and the common factors contributing to human-wild elephant conflict so that vulnerable population can be cautioned to avoid conflicts. A distinct seasonal as well as diurnal variation of attack incidences was noted. Attacks were sudden and unprovoked. Killer elephants were wild tuskers in all the cases. Victims were from the low socioeconomic group and the cause of death was due to trampling on the vital organs like chest and head.

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