Elephant turned violent due to provocation: DFO

via Pioneer News Service | Thrissur published on April 26, 2008

The Chalakkudy divisonal forest officer who was probing into an elephant recently goring to death three persons had cited that the elephant was provocated after some persons had attacked it.

The DFO in its report also said that during festivals a human chain should be employed by the concerned temple committees to separate the elephants and the people witnessing the festival.

The report clearly explains that some persons had dragged its tusk and had thrown stones at the elephant which resulted in the beast running among the packed crowd resulting in the death of three persons including a seventy five-year-old woman.

The DFO also found out that the elephant, Unnikrishnan owned by one of the prominent business groups of the State, Pobsons was not fitted with the microchip which is mandatory as per the elephant protection act.

There are also reports that the group which has wood mills had used the elephant in the forests for transporting timber into lorries.

The DFO in the report had also mentioned that the owners or the temple committee had never bothered to produce the fitness certificate of the elephant to the forest officials which is a grave offense.

The report also said that people coming to watch the festival and who were under the influence of alcohol were constantly troubling the elephants which was used during the festival processions in temples.

The DFO PS Mani has also mentioned that the elephants must be provided proper resting places and be given adequate food and water.

The report also called for strict action against those persons who were throwing stones and playing pranks with the elephant by pulling its tail or dragging its tusks which might have provocated the elephant which was constantly standing during the temple festivals.

The State had witnessed several such castatrophes involving elephants and many people have lost their lives in the attacks carried out by the elephants .

Studies conducted by the elephant lovers have shown that the elephants were not provided proper food or rest and even water was not given to the animal.

The elephants were also made to walk long distances between two temple festivals in the hot and blazing sun and this was another reason for the elephants turning violent.

Also the sound of crackers and more than this the pranks played by the onlookers during the temple festivals were creating much discomfort to the elephant which turns violent often leading peoples deaths who were either trapped within the temple or who were standing near the elephant.

Another major fact was that the elephants which had a previous history of violence were again used during temple festivals as in the case of Unnikrishnan which had shown signs of violence during the previous years festival in Kudalmanikyam .

There were calls from several corners to ban the presence of elephants from temple festivals but the majestic presence of the elephant in itself was a sight to watch and almost all of the temple committee office bearers were of the opinion that the festivals would loose their charm once the elephant was banned.

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