NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Elephant Whisperer

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Nirmala Toppo, 14, is apparently the one to call if wild elephants overrun your village, especially in India's Orissa and Jharkhand states, still home to hundreds of marauding pachyderms. Her latest pied-piper act, in June, emptied a herd of 11 out of the industrial city of Rourkela. Said Toppo: "First I pray and then talk to the herd. I tell them this is not your home. You should return where you belong." Somehow, the elephants followed her for miles away from town, according to an October BBC News item.

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