Munnar: Notorious wild elephant named Padayappa is at it again! He has gone on the rampage for the umpteenth time in the human settlements in the hills of Munnar.
In his latest escapade, tusker Padayappa destroyed the glasses of a mini-lorry parked on the roadside and an autorickshaw stationed near a house. It also damaged the butter beans crop in farms.
The incident happened on Wednesday midnight. The mini-lorry belonged to a contractor of Periyavarayil. The destroyed autorickshaw was owned by P Pradeep of Lower Periyavarai.
In the nearby farms of Chelladurai and Jayapal, Padayappa also ate up the bean crop which was ripe for harvesting. The duo suffered a loss of Rs 60,000.
Two days ago, the animal had appeared in the Kannimala Top Division during daylight and created havoc, besides destroying the lunch boxes of the employees.
Padayappa. who has shown signs of being in musth, has been violent for the past one month. [Musth is a a periodic state when bull elephants turn aggressive and this often coincides with the rutting (mating) season.]
Padayappa who had once endeared himself to the hillfolks for being gentle mysteriously had turned aggressive a few years ago. Forest Department officials have been studying to find out why this changed happen.
The elephant is named after the macho character played by Tamil superstar Rajinikant in an eponymous 1999 film. The tusker's human fans recently formed an association and a WhatsApp group in its name.
The vehicle that was used the other day for provoking Padayappa has been taken into custody by Forest Department officials. Munnar forest ranger Arun Maharaja seized the jeep of Chudale who is associated with the Kadalar estate factory belonging to the Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Company.
Chudale is absconding.
The charge is that Chudale provoked Padayappa, which was standing on the roadside on the Munnar-Kadalar route, by revving up the engine and sounding the horn hard.