A wild elephant rampaged through a village in southeastern Nepal on Thursday trampling three people to death, police said.
"The elephant first attacked a 57-year-old man in his house who died on the spot. Then, a 70-year-old woman working on a tea garden was killed. An 80-year-old woman died in hospital," police officer Mohan Sharma told AFP.
Sharma said police chased the elephant away following the attack in Prithvinagar, a village on the border with India, 400 kilometres (250 miles) southeast of Kathmandu.
"We couldn't kill it because the law bans killing endangered animals, so we fired blanks to chase it away," he said, adding that two people were injured.
Shrinking forests and encroachment on elephant territory has forced the animals to stray into human settlements looking for food, often resulting in attacks, experts say.