Yet another selfie seeker in India killed by wild elephant
Raul Dancel, The Straits Times
March 15, 2023
Yet another selfie seeker in India has died when he got too close to a wild
Mr E. Ramkumar, 27, from Tamil Nadu’s Villupuram district, was killed when
one of two elephants he was trying to take a selfie with charged at him,
gored him and trampled him to death.
A forest official said Mr Ramkumar was relieving himself when he noticed
the two elephants coming out of the Palacode reserve forest.
He walked towards the elephants and tried to get a selfie with them. But
one of the elephants apparently got spooked and, feeling threatened, lunged
The incident is the latest in a growing list of unfortunate incidents of
people dying because they were trying to take a selfie with dangerous
In February, a 21-year-old man was killed by a wild elephant that wandered
into a residential area in the Indian state of Chattisgarh.
Mr Manohar Patel joined a huge crowd of onlookers who were watching and
teasing the elephant as officials were trying to chase it away.
Mr Patel and three of his friends decided to approach the animal to take
pictures with it. The elephant charged at them, caught Mr Patel and
trampled him to death.
Elephant attacks of selfie seekers are becoming more frequent in India as
the country’s influencers increasingly risk their lives to get more
attention on social media.
A study by the US National Library of Medicine found that more than 250
people across the world died between 2011 and 2017 as they were trying to
take a selfie. More than half were Indians.
Elephant attacks of selfie seekers in India, in particular, are on the
rise, as food scarcity forces more wild elephants out of the forest and
into villages and towns.
Social media, meanwhile, is amplifying bad behaviour, with attention hogs
trying to outdo each other with risky stunts.
The problem of dangerous wildlife selfies is not just limited to India.
In 2015, officials at Yellowstone National Park in the United States issued
a warning after five incidents of selfie-takers being gored by bison, while
a man in Spain died trying to take a selfie with a bull.
In 2016, a man in a wildlife park in China was drowned by a walrus after
taking selfies with the animal, and a zookeeper who jumped in to save him
A video compilation on YouTube of the 25 most dangerous selfies has been
viewed over 40 million times.