The narrator starts to have second thoughts, regretting that he has to kill the elephant now that it is resting peacefully.
However, the crowd wants to see blood and is chanting for the narrator to take the shot.
Orwell held the post of Assistant Superintendent in the British Indian Imperial Police from 1922 to 1927, when the story takes place.
This is when the narrator’s story takes place as well, during a period of intense anti-European sentiment in Burma.
He later finds out that as soon as the elephant died, the locals stripped it to the bone and took the meat for their own purposes.
At his office, all his older colleagues agree that he made the right decision to shoot the elephant, but his younger colleagues make the argument that the elephant’s life was worth more than the man it trampled.
He thinks the incident may have been a hoax, but soon finds a man who has been trampled by the elephant.
He sends an order for an elephant rifle and is followed by thousands of people as he tracks the elephant to a rice paddy where it is resting.