Panic hampers jumbo operation

Panic hampers jumbo operation

At first sight, eye-witnesses said, people mistook the pachyderms for Dasara elephants and tried to get closer to them. When one of the animals panicked and moved menacingly, they threw stones at it.

Enraged, the young elephant ran amuck and gored a man to death on a street. Lost in a new terrain teeming with people, the confused jumbo was probably looking for an escape route, running into several bylanes, main roads and even entering school and college buildings and the Oval Grounds, before coming to rest in a bushy area on the premises of Dhobi Ghat adjacent to Kukkarahalli Tank.

The forest staff would have reined in the animals had the people remained calm and restrained from attacking them. Some youth had even caught one of the elephants, aged about 8 to 10, by its tail, triggering the deathly rampage, eye-witnesses said.

When the jumbo attacked a cow at Tilak Nagar, a few people armed with sticks made futile efforts to save the cow. But once the elephant turned back on them, they ran helter-skelter.

M N Jaykumar, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, told Deccan Herald that the jumbo was more scared than the people, as it had accidentally strayed into the city.
So it ran through several roads, only to bring traffic to a grinding halt during the busy morning hours.

Victim’s eyes donated

The family members of Renukaswamy, the security guard who lost his life in the jumbo attack, have donated his eyes. Renukaswamy’s children decided to donate their father’s eyes, as he had once expressed his intention “to be a part of a cause after death.”

Forest Minister C H VIjayashankar handed over a cheque for Rs five lakh as ex gratia from the Chief Minister’s fund to the family of the deceased. He also promised a job to the elder son of the victim, on a temporary basis in  the Forest Department.

Blast from the past

Though this was the first time wild jumbos had strayed into the heart of Mysore, it’s the second jumbo scare for Mysoreans. Five years ago, an elephant owned by Scion of Mysore Royal family, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, had created a ruckus early morning, running amuck on the main roads. The elephant had run away from ‘aane katori’ in the precincts of Amba Vilas Palace, when its mahout tried to feed it.  The jumbo that had run up to Jayanagar, raided a banana plantation inside the compound of a house, before returning to its place after some time. Fortunately, no one was injured.

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