IDUKKI: Munnar Forest elephant Chillikomban that had sauntered into the human habitat recently, was found dead Tuesday morning.
Earlier there were reports about a few people taking the initiative to hound away the jumbo that had found its way into Munnar’s Chenduvara region. The carcass of the elephant was found later from the same area.
Meanwhile, locals in Marayoor, Kanthallur, Munnar and Chinnakkanal regions said that they had been facing threat from the elephant from the forest over the past three months, after which they decided to drive away the animal using a JCB. They said they forced the elephant to return to forest using the sound of the JCB. Though the elephant first came towards the machine, soon it withdrew
However the forest department’s conclusion is that while driving away elephant using the JCB, the machine should have hit the elephant’s front portion. They informed that JCB and the driver were taken into custody for further investigation
A few elephant lovers in the area said Chillikomban died due to injuries when it was hit by the JCB excavator blade on its forehead. “He was calm and harmlesss and that was a well-known fact. It was seen as one of the hero tuskers of Munnar. He had been near the Chenduvurai factory under KDHP , since last 3 days.
He was chased all the way from there, though it was standing cool. Once it entered the factory premises, JCB was used to shoo it off, which was not needed at all. They could have used other means that wouldn’t have killed him,” they added dolefully.