An elephant trampled a woman to death in India, only to return during her funeral to pull her body off a pyre and trample over her corpse again.
The incident was said to have occurred in the eastern Indian state of Odisha on Thursday, and comes amid rising animal-human conflict in the country.
Maya Murmu, 70, was collecting water when she was targeted by a wild elephant that had strayed from a nearby wildlife sanctuary in the district of Mayurbhanj.
Despite being rushed to hospital, she died from her injuries in hospital and her body was placed on a funeral pyre the same evening.
On Saturday evening, while her family members were performing her last rites, the same elephant appeared and took Murmu's body from the pyre and trampled on it, before throwing it away.
Her terrified family members fled the scene and were only able to complete Murmu's last rites several hours later, once the elephant had left the area.
Elephant-human conflict on the rise
Elephant-human conflict is on the rise in India due to deforestation, primarily to make way for new human settlements, industry and agriculture, which pushes elephants outside of shrinking protected areas in the search for food.
The elephant that attacked Murmu had strayed from the Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, near the city of Jamshedpur, where there have been reports of uncontrolled mining, tree felling and construction work in the reserve's buffer zone.
India's elephants are restricted to just 3 per cent of their original habitats, according to a joint report published by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the UN Environment Programme in 2021.
The report concluded that no country in the world would be as affected by human-animal conflict in the upcoming years as India, which is home to 1.38 billion people and approximately 27,000 wild elephants.
A total of 1401 humans and 301 elephants were killed over two years from 2018 to 2020 in India, according to the country's Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate.
Some of the elephant deaths occurred during retaliatory attacks, such as poisoning or electrocution, after an animal first damages farmers' crops.
The Indian government is working to complete more than 30 new elephant corridors, which would help the animals to move around the country without coming into contact with humans. It has advised farmers to plant crops that elephants do not like to eat, like lemons or ginger.