Suttur Mutt elephants run amok on Mysore roads

Create fear psychosis among residents of the City of Palaces

A great escape: A kavadi tries to escape from the Suttur Mutt elephant that turned violent during a routine walk in Mysore on Monday. DH Photo/H G Prashanth

The fresh incident has created a fear psychosis among Mysoreans who are used to watching the giant animals (Dasara elephants) walk past amid people and maddening traffic during rehearsal for Dasara.

Though elephants Maasti and Lakshmi ran amok, wise handling of the animals by the mahouts and kavadi (attendant) averted any tragedy. However, a kavadi suffered minor injuries in his bid to control the animals.

It all happened when Maasti (23) and Lakshmi (12) were taken on a routine walk. A siren from an ambulance panicked Lakshmi who started to run on Basaveshwara Road, leaving the residents stunned.

Appaiah, an alert mahout of tusker Maasti, and kavadi Maqbool, took the male elephant into a bylane, lest it also goes berserk watching the female jumbo.

Lives at risk

But they couldn’t hold Maasti for long. The mahouts managed to calm Lakshmi and move the furious Maasti back to Suttur mutt, off Nanjangud Road. The mahouts and kavadis took a lot of pain to push the pachyderms back to their place risking their lives.

Maasti tried to force Appaiah off his back and he (Appaiah) caught hold of a branch of a tree and climbed it near JSS College on Ooty Road. Later Lakshmi and Maasti walked back to their place inside the mutt. The forest officials, who arrived on the spot, tranquilised Maasti and the tusker was later chained.

Dinesh, an eyewitness, told Deccan Herald that Maasti tried to attack the kavadi and an auto driver on Basaveshwara Road.

“The authorities should take care while taking elephants for a walk. It is becoming increasingly scary for people to watch pachyderms unlike in the past,” he said.

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