Rogue jumbos leave Mysore dazed

Last Updated : 08 June 2011, 19:36 IST

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Panic-stricken and shrieking in fear, men and women ran for their lives, but by that time the pachyderm had turned “rogue” and set its sight on one man who ran into a very narrow lane where he froze as the tusker’s hulk was over him.

Wrapping its trunk around the man’s leg, the elephant first flattened him on the ground and butted the body with its enormous head. The man writhed on the ground for a few seconds, unable to escape the blows from the trunk as the beast repeatedly gored its ivory tusks into the man’s abdomen. Like a gladiator it pinned down its victim, using its tusks with precision to deliver the decisive thrust.

Crimson blood squirted out of the man’s gaping belly each time the animal plunged its tusks into the lifeless body. And then, with an effortless push, it pummelled the limp body on to the stairs of a store and head-butted it a last time to make sure it was lifeless. As the elephant walked from the gory mess, it turned its head back one last time to see the crumpled and bloody wreck.

Mysore city on Wednesday actually witnessed a deadly battle between man and beast – a recurring feature that has often left its residents fearing for their lives and leaving wildlife experts frustrated over the fate of wild animals whose habitat has shrunk with expanding urbanisation.

For over six hours, the two wild elephants, which strayed into the city in the morning, roamed the streets, with one of them killing a man, identified as Renuka Swamy, security guard at an ATM, a cow, which tried to put up a fight, and injuring four others.

The pachyderms – a female and a male, aged about 14 and eight, respectively, were finally tranquilised by forest guards, but not before forcing the town authorities to shut down business establishments and homes across the city.

Forest department officials suspect the elephants originated from the forest in Narsipura. They were first spotted around 5:15 am near Bamboo Bazar, according to a message received at the police control room. When they entered the heart of the city, they ran amok, causing people to flee.

Balakrishna, a powerloom worker from Bangalore, was walking towards his brother’s house in Bamboo Bazar when he was attacked by one of the pachyderms. He suffered a cut on one of his thighs when the elephant – most likely the mother – swung its trunk at him.

The animal panicked when it saw the crowd growing. Small groups of men tried to chase it away, which made the beast panic. It turned towards Tilak Nagar and attacked three heads of cattle that came in its way on 17th Cross. One of the cows tried to resist the aggressive elephant’s trunk lashes and head butts, but was killed when the tusks gored into its neck.

As people began to pelt stones at the animal, it ran towards Mission Hospital Road and attacked a 53-year-old woman, Violet, a hospital staff. She was walking with her daughter to her workplace when they came face-to-face with the elephant. She was attacked from the rear as her daughter ran for cover behind a parked vehicle.

The elephant coiled Violet in its trunk and hurled her to the ground, causing her to have rib fractures. It let go off the woman when people hurled stones at it.

Another woman, identified as Siddamma, 80, was also attacked by one of the two elephants at Manjunathapura slum and ended up in hospital with shoulder and head injuries.

Published 08 June 2011, 06:28 IST

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