Bus driven in reverse gear for 8 km on forest road to escape charging elephant


Sholayar: Human-animal conflict is getting acute day by day in Kerala. The latest in this never-ending strife involves a busload of passengers and a lone wild tusker that has gone into musth. The driver of the private bus had to frantically take it in the reverse gear for up to 8 km through a narrow, curvy forest road as the wild elephant, named ‘Kabali’, charged at the vehicle!

The lone wild tusker started charging at the bus on the Chalakkudy-Valpparai route around 9 am on Wednesday. Photo: Manorama

The bus — named Cheenikkas — which has a service on the Chalakkudy-Valpparai route drove on reverse gear from Ambalappara to Anakkayam, around 9 am, on Wednesday as the lone wild tusker started charging at the bus.

As the narrow road had sharp curves and bends, the bus could not be turned anywhere and had to be driven in reverse gear. The tourist vehicles which were behind the bus were diverted.

The lone tusker, which walked along with the bus charging at it for about an hour, walked into the wilds on reaching Anakkayam. The passengers heaved a sigh of relief only then.

The tusker has been posing a threat to road users on the Anakkayam route for many weeks now. A few days ago, it had attacked the jeep of the Forest Department. The KSEB office at Ambalappara also was attacked by the elephant.

The elephant has been frequenting the area for over two years. It has been in musth for a month now; hence aggressive, forest officials said.  

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