A marauding herd of some 100 elephants has run amok on an Indian island, destroying homes and crushing fields as they feast on sugarcane. Panicky villagers were using firecrackers and bonfires in a bid to drive off the animals. Some 50 families have moved to a school for shelter.
Dozens of houses were destroyed when the beasts swam from their usual hilltop territory to the island of Majuli in northeast India a week ago. Officials speculate they may have been seeking their wandering calves, then stuck around to snack. Forestry workers are trying to push the elephants off the island but the "job is proving difficult," said one.