Elephant that rampaged through village and killed three shot and eaten by locals
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A rogue elephant that killed three people and injured several others has been butchered and eaten after being shot by wildlife rangers.
The huge animal had wandered out of one of the national wildlife parks in Benin, west Africa, and was roving in and around the down of Kandi, in the north west of the country.
The elephant had reported been straying close to several neighbouring villages since mid-March.
He is known to have fatally attacked a woman he encountered in the forest at that time. In the following weeks he injured several people in the Sam neighbourhood.
Locals demanded action but game wardens were unwilling to shoot the animal.
However, a month later, he killed a further two people in Sonsoro, another neighbourhood in the Kandi area.
On April 27, 2021, rangers from African Parks, a South African NGO, reported that they had shot “a marauding elephant in […] Kandi", according to a statement released on April 29, 2021 and signed by Christophe Lemée, the director of W-Bénin park.
The statement said that rangers reluctantly had taken the decision to kill the elephant because of the "great and persistent menace he posed to local populations" and "the difficulty of controlling it and returning it to its natural habitat as soon as possible”.
Afterwards, the forestry workers employed by the Department of Water and Forests skinned the creature and removed its tail and tusks.
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Photos have since emerged online showed a local organisation cutting up the carcass and distributing the meat.
David Ayegnon, the forestry captain who led the operation, spoke to told news network France 24: “The animal was killed right next to the Alibori River.
"It was an emergency because the elephant was threatening local communities, disrupting their peace and quiet."
“We were under pressure," he said. "Locals wanted us to kill it after the very first incidents in March. We thought the animal would go back to his natural habitat himself, but then two other people died.”
He explained that the animal was in dense, inaccessible woodland that made it very hard to safely remove it. “There are no landing strips for airplanes,” he said, “and there isn’t really any form of transportation that could be used to transport an elephant that could access the area.
Adding that the rangers’ role was to protect the environment and they had “no interest in killing animals” his team was forced to destroy the elephant in order to protect people in nearby villages.
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