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What happens when a wild elephant gets lost in an Indian city

Watch out for that elephant crossing the road.

On Aug. 19, a wild male elephant strayed into the outskirts of Guwahati, the capital of Assam, blocking traffic and bringing life to a halt. The tusker was part of a herd of wild elephants that was coming down from a nearby hill in India’s northeastern state of Meghalaya when he lost his way, according to the Associated Press.

“The animal fell into a marshy land in the morning, but it was not hurt,” Chandan Bora, a forest officer, told The Telegraph newspaper. “It also did not cause any damage to human life or property. It had probably lost its way and entered into Biharbari on Wednesday night (Aug.19)”

Officials managed to send the elephant back to the forests, the following afternoon.

As India’s smaller towns develop at a breathless pace and human habitation inches closer to forests and national parks, wild animals often drift into cities. For instance, in May last year, schools and colleges in the city of Meerut in north India were shut after a leopard wandered into the city.

While India figures out a way of tackling the challenges of urbanisation, here are pictures of the elephant that strayed into the city of Guwahati.

AP Photo/Anupam Nath
Onlookers stand on vehicles and watch the wild male elephant pull itself out of a muddy pit on the outskirts of Guwahati.
AP Photo/Anupam Nath
Indian police officials watch the confused wild male elephant walk in a compound on the outskirts of Guwahati.
AP Photo/Anupam Nath
The confused wild male elephant chases people on a road as it crosses a highway on the outskirts of Guwahati.
AP Photo/Anupam Nath
Commuters stop and watch the wild male elephant cross a highway on the outskirts of Guwahati.
AP Photo/Anupam Nath
Commuters stop their vehicles and watch the wild male elephant cross a highway.
AP Photo/Anupam Nath
The wild male elephant walks towards a nearby hill on the outskirts of Guwahati.
AP Photo/Anupam Nath
The wild male elephant returns to a hill after wandering into a city on the outskirts of Guwahati.
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