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Elephant on the Loose in City Streets

By Kyle Pallanik     Jul 30, 2007 in World
An elephant known as Chooti Mahattaya (the Little Master) ran down a street, causing chaos in Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka, today after becoming upset during a Hindu ceremony and breaking loose.
Fifteen year old Chooti Mahattaya ran away from the ceremony, damaging two taxi cabs and breaking into a building.
A Colombo internet news desk reported that the rampaging elephant caused hundreds of people to flee the crowded street.
Police closed the street off, causing heavy traffic in the central area, and it took many of them to gain control of the situation. Hundreds more people watched the incident as they managed to use chains to contain the big animal.
Organisers of the procession said that the elephant was angered when it saw the people, but you have to wonder if the congested crowds had something to do with it, or whether the animal was provoked. also reporteed that this is only the latest incident involving elephants running wild in Sri Lanka. An eight year old elephant called Abey, destroyed a car during a public display in February.
In Mumbai, India, elephants have been recently banned from the city streets because many believe that it's cruel in the crowded and polluted urban environment.
"We want to keep the poor elephants off city roads. It is sad to see them walking with traffic going past" said Shree Bhagwan, who is a senior official in the Maharashtra state forestry department, according to the International Herald Tribune. Prior to the ban, 14 elephants commonly worked as status symbols in wedding parties or used in religious ceremonies like the one in Sri Lanka.
More about Elephant, Sri lanka, Loose