A suspected animal poacher has been trampled to death by wild elephants in India, while another was injured and is in a critical condition.
The Indian Express reports that a gang of four poachers entered the forest near the Thattekkad bird sanctuary in Kerala at around 9pm last night.
The men, including 26-year-old Tony who was killed, did not notice the herd of elephants in their path and became trapped in front of it.
Forest officials said:
One of the gang members, Tony (26) was crushed to death by an elephant. In the melee, a loaded unlicensed local gun he was carrying also accidentally went off, hitting his thigh.
During the agitation, 30-year-old Basil was injured and admitted to a private hospital in Aluva where he remains in a serious condition.
The incident came to light after the other two gang members, Sajith and Anish, told their friends and relatives of the events.
The two have absconded after weapons and other equipment used for hunting were recovered from the spot, potentially breaching the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act.