Bangalore, India (ANTARA News/AFP) - Two wild elephants trampled one person to death in a three-hour rampage in the southern Indian city of Mysore early Wednesday, causing widespread panic, local officials said.
Karnataka state higher education minister S.A. Ramdas said the jumbos entered the city from a nearby forest at about 6:00 am and "wreaked havoc in a suburb by trampling one person to death and caused panic across the city."
The victim was a 55-year-old man who had come out of his house in the Bamboo Bazaar area of Mysore on hearing a commotion. He was trampled to death and died instantly, Ramdas said.
One elephant barged into a women`s college compound and roamed menacingly in the grounds, while the other got into a residential area.
Ramdas said schools and colleges have been closed for the day and extra police deployed as a precaution, even though forest rangers and officials from Mysore zoo managed to capture the animals and tranquilise them.
State forest department officials said the young jumbos came from a forest about 35 kilometres (22 miles) away with two others, who remain at large on the outskirts of the city, which is 140 kilometres from the tech hub of Bangalore.
One official blamed the rampage on encroachment of human settlements into forested areas that are the elephants` natural habitat.
"Unregulated expansion of farm lands and increasing movement of people and transport vehicle through the elephant corridor are making the wild jumbos enter into villages and towns in search of food and shelter," he said.
The two captured elephants will be released back into the wild later Wednesday, Ramdas said.