NEW DELHI, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- An elephant blamed for killing 15 people in eastern India for the past few months was shot dead on Friday.
According to forest officials, a hunter shot two bullets on the head of the animal, and another round was fired as a confirmation shot.
"Permission to kill (the elephant) was unfortunate, but last resort," Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Wildlife, L R Singh was quoted by The Indian Express as saying.
Forest officials tried to tranquilize the elephant from a distance of 30 meters, but the animal suddenly ran to charge them, forcing the hunter to open fire, reported Hindustan Times.
The elephant, believed to be 20-25 years old, have killed 11 people in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand since March and four others in the neighboring state of Bihar, said Singh.
The official added that the casualties could have continued to increase had several people from villages atop the densely forested hills not come down to lower areas, reported The Indian Express.
The burial of the elephant was conducted on Saturday, which was also the World Elephant Day.
Violent encounters between elephants and humans have been on the rise, as human activities and expansion of settlements leave little room for wild elephants to roam.
Some 1,100 people were killed for the past three years by roaming tigers or rampaging elephants in India, according to data released by the Environment Ministry earlier this month.
The greatest threat to wild Asian elephants is habitat loss and fragmentation, according to the American Museum of Natural History.
Elephants have been pushed into hilly landscapes and less suitable remnants of forest, but even these less accessible habitats are being assaulted by poachers, loggers and developers, the museum noted.