On Monday, Indian police and forestry officials began carrying out a series of forced evictions of illegally built houses inside the 30-square-mile Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary in northeastern India, a protected habitat for wild elephants. Hundreds of structures were demolished by a few construction vehicles and about a dozen elephants, which were able to navigate some of the steeper and narrower trails. The people being evicted protested, some hurling rocks, but in the end, several hundred families were driven out. Increased encroachment on elephant habitat has been driving growing numbers of human-elephant encounters, which often end badly for the wild animals. Indian authorities have used elephants for demolition duties several times in recent years, including in 2016, when they removed 300 encroaching houses from the Kaziranga National Park rhino sanctuary.

1. An elephant is used to demolish a house during an eviction drive inside the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary on the outskirts of Gauhati, Assam, India, on November 27, 2017.
Anupam Nath / AP
2. A policeman guides his elephant to demolish huts which forest officials claimed were illegally built in the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary in Guwahati, India, on November 27, 2017.
Anuwar Hazarika / Reuters
3. An elephant arrives to help demolish houses during an eviction drive inside the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary on August 25, 2017.
Anupam Nath / AP
4. A mahout (elephant rider) guides a forest department elephant to demolish power cable poles on the periphery of the Kaziranga National Park, northeastern Assam state, India, on September 19, 2016. Authorities ordered the demolition of around 300 houses in three villages to evict people living on the periphery of the rhino sanctuary to stop rampant poaching of the rare animal, a top police official said.
Anupam Nath / AP
5. An elephant tears down a house during an eviction drive inside the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary on the outskirts of Gauhati, India, on August 25, 2017.
Anupam Nath / AP
6. An elephant is used to demolish a house inside the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary on November 27, 2017.
Anupam Nath / AP
7. A girl cries and watches as elephants demolish her house during an eviction in the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary on November 27, 2017.
Anupam Nath / AP
8. People who have encroached on the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary watch from a distance as elephants are used to demolish their houses on November 27, 2017.
Anupam Nath / AP
9. Elephants are escorted by dozens of police officers during an eviction drive inside the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary on August 25, 2017.
Anupam Nath / AP
10. An elephant tears down an illegally built house inside the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary on August 25, 2017.
Anupam Nath / AP
11. A mahout guides his elephant to demolish huts which forest officials claimed were illegally built in the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary on August 25, 2017.
Anuwar Hazarika / Reuters
12. Elephants are brought to demolish buildings and other structures in the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary on November 27, 2017.
Anupam Nath / AP
13. An elephant tears apart a house during an eviction in the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary on November 27, 2017.
Anupam Nath / AP
14. An elephant pushes against a brick wall during an eviction in the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary on November 27, 2017.
Anupam Nath / AP
15. Elephants make their way down a steep hill for demolition duties inside the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary on the outskirts of Gauhati, India, on November 27, 2017.
Anupam Nath / AP
16. Police and a mahout with his elephant walk past demolished buildings and other structures in Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary on November 27, 2017.
Anupam Nath / AP
17. Illegal encroachers with their belongings watch during the eviction drive inside Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary on November 27, 2017.
Anupam Nath / AP
18. Mahouts guide forest department elephants to demolish houses at Bandardubi village, on the periphery of the Kaziranga National Park, northeastern Assam state, India, on September 19, 2016. Authorities ordered the demolition of around 300 houses in three villages to evict people living on the periphery of the rhino sanctuary to stop rampant poaching of the rare animal, a top police official said.
Anupam Nath / AP