Elephant is burned alive after thugs set it on fire when it approached a private resort in India
- A video of the attack shows a panicked elephant in the middle of the street
- Two men are said to have been shooing it away when they threw burning cloth
- But the cloth stuck to the elephant, causing it to flee in the jungle while on fire
- The attack occurred in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu in southern India
- Local police announced an investigation has been launched into the attack
An elephant was burned alive after thugs set it on fire when it approached a private resort in southern India.
Two men have been arrested and a third is wanted, after they allegedly threw burning rags at the elephant, with the disturbing scenes being captured on video.
Police have said an investigation has been launched into the attack, that occurred in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu in southern India.
It took place near a private resort, where a group described as ‘miscreants’ tried to shoo the elephant away that was in the middle of a street by throwing burning cloth.
As the video shows, recorded from a balcony of a nearby house, the fire catches on the right side of the elephant before it runs towards the jungle, trumpeting in pain.
Pictured: An elephant was set on fire in southern India as a group of men tried to shoo it away from a private resort. Police have said an investigation has been launched into the attack
Within moments, the panicked elephant disappears into the wilderness, but the fire can still be seen burning bright through the darkness.
People can be heard shouting in the video, although it is unclear if they are shouting because the elephant is on fire, or in an attempt to shoo it away.
Tragically, the 40-year-old elephant suffered serious burn injuries near its ears and died on Tuesday while it was being transported on its way for treatment by officials.
It was reportedly found by forest rangers in a very weak condition, and was being transported to an elephant sanctuary when it died.
The elephant had found its way into a private resort (pictured) when it was attacked. Men threw flaming rags at it, apparently in an attempt ti shoo it away, setting the beast on fire
Two people, identified as Prasath and Raymond Dean, both natives to Mavanallah, were taken into custody.
A further man, identified as Ricky Rayan, is also involved in the case but out of town and the police are trying to locate him and make an arrest.
Asian elephants have been listed as endangered since 1986, with the wild population having decreased by an estimated 50 percent since the 1930s and 1940s.
The elephant’s right-hand side caught on fire, causing it to flee the resort. It could still be seen in a video filmed by a local as it fled into the wilderness, where it sadly later died
The estimated 27,000 – 31,000 elephants in India are threatened by loss of their habitat, environmental degradation and habitat fragmentation.
With over 80 percent of India’s population being Hindu – a religion that considers elephants a sacred animal – the news of the attack is likely to spark outrage.
Elephants are seen as the living incarnation of one of their most important gods, called Ganesh, an elephant-headed deity.