Ranni: A 41-year-old watcher was killed after a wild elephant went on a rampage in the human settlement area along the Rajampara Forest Station limits in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district.
A S Biju of the Rajampara Forest Station was killed when he tried to chase the elephant back into the forest. Biju was a native of Laha in the district.
K P Paulose, 59, who stays at block number 59 of the ex-servicemen’s colony at Vechoochira, was injured in the attack. Paulose is undergoing treatment at the Ranni taluk hospital.
The tusker entered the Madanthamon-Peruva Road after crossing the Pamba River at Kattickal around 5:30am on Wednesday.
It destroyed several coconut trees and banana plants by the riverside before entering Paulose's plantation.
The tusker was also spotted at Varuchal, Peruva Road and Munnekar area.
The tusker was spotted 100metres away from the Madanthamon-Attikayam Road at Munnekar area, after a gap of six hours.
After the forest personnel were alerted, Biju and team arrived at the spot. When Biju fired into the air, the elephant went after the forest personnel, who ran for their lives.
After firing for a second time, Biju ran but he stumbled and fell. The elephant attacked him at this juncture.
Though the forest personnel rushed Biju to the taluk hospital, his life could not be saved.
He is survived by wife Anila, and children Bijila and Alamkrita.
After attacking Biju, the elephant entered the rubber plantation of the ex-servicemen's colony.
Two teams of the rapid action force from Peermade were able to force the elephant to retreat.
Crackers were burst on either side and shots fired to scare the elephant. While heading back to the forest, it knocked down a bike. But the bike riders managed to escape.
Collector P B Nooh, District Forest Officers M Unnikrishnan, K S Shyam Mohan, Ttehsildar Sajan V Kuriakose, and Ranni forest range officer R Adeesh led the forest personnel in the mission. Local people too turned up to help the forest personnel.
Another wild elephant too?
Meanwhile, there were unconfirmed reports that a female elephant had also entered the human settlement area. Biju and Paulose were attacked by a tusker but the elephant found at Chembonoly was a female, according to eyewitnesses. However, the forest officers are yet to confirm this.