Elephant goes back to save crying baby after smashing home

A RAMPAGING elephant smashed a house to bits in an Indian village, but turned back and rescued a baby trapped in the rubble, a couple have claimed.

Dipak Mahato and his wife Lalita say a male elephant attacked their house in a village in West Bengal's Purulia district, but saved their ten-month-old daughter from beneath the debris.

Mr Mahato told The Times of India his family were eating at about 8pm when they suddenly heard a "cracking sound" and crashing noises coming from the bedroom.

"We ran over and were shocked to see the wall in pieces and a tusker standing over our baby," he said. "She was crying and there were huge chunks of the wall lying all around and on the cot.

"The tusker started moving away but when our child started crying again, it returned and used its trunk to remove the debris."

Ms Mahato said they watched in amazement as the animal gently removed pieces of brick and stone that had fallen on her daughter.

"I can't believe that the tusker saved my daughter after breaking down the door and smashing a wall."

The child was taken to Deben Mahato Sadar Hospital and treated for external injuries, according to the newspaper. She is expected to make a full recovery.

Jhalda ranger Samir Bose told ToI the animal has damaged at least 17 houses in Mathadi, Kasidih and Ghoshra village areas.