Elephant seeking female partner kills mahout

Driven by desire, a male tusker went berserk and brutally killed its mahout at an elephant training centre inside Chandaka reserve forests near here.

The incident came to light after a thorough investigation by a four member team of experts appointed by the forest department. On November 9, Shankar, the 20-year-old male tusker was being taken for a bath when he suddenly became agitated and dragged the mahout Dilip Rabha and trampled him to death. The 52-year-old mahout from Assam was training Shankar for more than two years.

After killing the mahout, the tusker sat near the dead body for several hours. The forest officials had a tough time and had to struggle for nearly 24 hours to recover the mahout’s body after tranquilising the animal.

The team of experts which included two professors from a government run veterinary
college and a retired divisional forest officer (DFO) of Chandaka reserve forests with expertise in elephant behaviour found an abnormally high level of a particular hormone in the male elephant’s body which indicated that the animal was desperately in need of a female partner to mate. To calm down the pachyderm, the authorities in Chandaka have now decided to curtail its freedom and keep him in shackles for sometime.

Besides, as per the experts advice, the protein intake in its diet has been drastically cut. For the next few days, green fodder will be its main food. The animal would also be under medication. Sources in the forest department said, Shankar’s huge physique has become the biggest hurdle in finding a partner. “We have been trying our best to find a partner for Shankar. But it has become a tough task for us to locate a female elephant of his size,” said a forest department official. 

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