Elephant tramples farmer to death

A farmer was trampled to death by a wild elephant at his farm in Hosoli near Subrahmanya on Wednesday night.

The elephant attacked Ram Bhat (49) when he went to the farm to turn on the sprinkler, said members of the family. When he did not return home by 9 pm, his wife, Vanishri, went to the farm searching for him and found his body lying in the farm 100 metres from the house. With the help of the neighbours, Vanishri shifted him to the house. He had, however, died by then, they added.

He is survived by 70-year-old mother Saraswatiyamma, Vanishri, daughter Chaitra (class 7) and son Deviprasad (class 6).

Man-elephant conflict

The neighbours said that Bhat is the first victim of human-elephant conflict in the region. The area is noted for its dense forest cover.

It is located three km from Erdadka main road near Nadugallu and Harihara Pallattadka. The family said that the elephant was no stranger to the area and actually used to stray into their farms and damage crops, but  that it had never attempted to harm a human being until the fateful incident on Wednesday, they said.

The elephant may have been goaded into attacking Bhat because of the actions of his neighbors.  That evening, before the incident, Bhat’s neighbour Kuntikana Janardhana Gowda had a narrow escape from the elephant in his farm. He burst crackers to scare the animal, away, causing the panic-stricken elephant to run into a  neighbouring farm owned by Chandrashekhar.

Chandrashekhar too chased it away and the jumbo entered Bhat’s farm. Bhat was unaware of the animal until the lst moment. The jumbo tossed him into the air, and trampled him before dragging him for a few metres.

Assistant Conservator of Forests, Dr Dinesh and the staff inspected the spot. The elephant damaged areca trees and banana plants in Bhat’s farm, said the official who also declared an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh for the victim’s family.

A case has been registered at the Subrahmahanya police station.

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