Elephant kills man in India
An elephant roams the street Wednesday in Mysore, India, with a tranquilizer dart in its side.
June 8th, 2011
08:11 PM ET

Elephant kills man in India

A wild elephant trampled a man to death in Mysore, India, Wednesday, creating panic in the city.

Four elephants bore through the city around 6 a.m., straying from the town of Tirumakudalu Narsipura, about 35 kilometers (21 miles) from Mysore, according to The Times of India. One elephant was seen trampling to death a 55-year-old security guard at a bank ATM. The elephant also attacked a cow in the market and a moving bus in the street.

“The forest guards and officials from the Mysore zoo were alerted,” State Higher Education Minister S.A. Ramdas told the Times. “They rushed to the spot to control the jumbos by tranquilizing them.”

Two of the more destructive elephants were tranquilized, the Times reported, citing local officials. One barged into a women’s college compound and roamed the grounds while the other wreaked havoc in a residential area.

As a precaution, schools and colleges were closed for the day and extra police deployed.

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Filed under: Elephants • India • World
Oldest elephant in N. America dies at 71
Taj, an Asian elephant who could paint on canvas, lived at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California, for 33 years.
January 19th, 2011
09:25 AM ET

Oldest elephant in N. America dies at 71

Taj, an Asian elephant who could hold a paintbrush to create art on canvas, has died at age 71, her keepers announced.

"As the oldest elephant in North America, we mourn the loss of this gentle soul who touched millions, but we also celebrate an extraordinary life," Six Flags Discovery Kingdom theme park in Vallejo, California, posted Tuesday on its Facebook page.

Taj far exceeded the average life expectancy of 44.8 years for her species, park spokeswoman Nancy Chan told the San Jose Mercury News.


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Filed under: Animals • California • Elephants • U.S.
Tuesday's intriguing people/pachyderms
December 28th, 2010
02:04 PM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people/pachyderms


Youth triumphed again Monday as 28-year-old Chanchalkali outpolled two older finalists in Nepal's inaugural Elephant Beauty Pageant, part of the three-day Chitwan Elephant Festival.

Five judges rated a total of six elephants on a variety of criteria, including posture, appearance, hygiene, complexion and responsiveness to commands. And, of course, their makeup. The elephants' mahouts, or handlers, carefully decorated each animal with colorful designs and painted their toenails.

"I think she won because I worked hard on her," said Chanchalkali's mahout, Prabhu Chaudhary. "The fact that she was younger than her competitors also helped."

Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John

Here's a baby who is likely to have an interesting life.

Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John is the new son of pop music legend Sir Elton John and longtime partner David Furnish.

Just like the baby in John's song "Levon," Zachary was born on Christmas Day (although The New York Times did not say "God is dead," as the song announced). The couple engaged a surrogate mother to bear the child for them.

He will grow up in the care of wealthy celebrity gay parents with homes in London, Los Angeles and Atlanta, Georgia.

Sir Elton is an Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the owner of five Grammy awards, an Oscar and a Tony. Furnish is a Hollywood film producer.

"I don't think our lives are suited to raising children," Furnish told People magazine in April 2009. "We're busy flying places all the time.

"Elton is not really going to come off the road," he said. "We don't want to put the raising of children into the hands of nannies and housekeepers.  We want to be active parents. We have godchildren [and] kids that we support in Africa, so we're fine (without children)."

It seems they've had a change of heart.

Alvin Greene

The failed candidate for the U.S. Senate from South Carolina is back in the game. Greene, an unemployed Army veteran, is running for office again, last week paying the $165 filing fee to run in a special election for the state House seat opened by the death of Democratic Rep. Cathy B. Harvin.

Despite his status as a virtual unknown, pending criminal charges and his sometimes odd behavior - he suggested making action figures of himself to boost the economy - Greene made major headlines this summer when he became South Carolina's Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate.

Suspicions arose concerning how Greene could accomplish such a fantastic political feat. In November Greene was easily defeated by the Republican incumbent, Sen. Jim DeMint.