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WII Team Member Injured In Elephant Attack In J'khand

The incident took place when 25-year-old Swastik Pritam and three other members of the team were clicking photographs of a herd of 11 elephants in Gangaahar forest in Chouparan area, around 160 km from Ranchi.

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A member of a survey team from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) was injured in an attack by an elephant in Jharkhand's Hazaribag district, police said on Monday.

The incident took place when 25-year-old Swastik Pritam and three other members of the team were clicking photographs of a herd of 11 elephants in Gangaahar forest in Chouparan area, around 160 km from Ranchi. Barhi Sub-divisional Police Officer Nazir Akthar said the team had come to the area for a survey of the forest as per the directions of the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment to prepare a report on the nature of the forest and wildlife in it, besides finding out a feasibility for a new railway line between Koderma in Jharkhand and Manpur in Bihar.

"The survey team got information about the arrival of an elephant herd and went close to the herd without informing forest authorities. They were trying to click photographs of the pachyderms," he said. Seeing the WII team click photographs, an elephant got irritated and ran towards them, Forest Range Officer Rahul Kumar said.

"Of the four, three managed to escape but Pritam, who hails from New Delhi, could not. He hid behind a bush but the elephant spotted him, lifted the man with its trunk and threw him on the ground, causing injuries," Kumar said. Pritam has sustained neck and shoulder injuries and has been admitted to Hazaribag Medical College and Hospital, where his condition is stated to be stable, he added. 

(With PTI inputs)

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