Forest watcher killed in wild elephant attack in Wayanad (India)


K R Rajeev, Times of India

Date Published

A forest watcher was killed in a wild elephant attack inside a teak plantation under the Begur range of the North Wayanad forest division on Tuesday.

The tusker charged at the team of 15 forest staff including North Wayanad Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Narendranath Veluri who had gone to inspect the teak plantation adjoining thick forests at around 10.30 am.

The deceased has been identified as forest watcher Bomman, 49, hailing from the Begur tribal colony who was showing the way for the team through the thick Lantana growth in the plantation. The other member of the team escaped unhurt.

“We had an accidental encounter with the elephant which was standing just five metres away from us inside a Lantana bush. The elephant came charging at us and we all ran in different directions. On reaching the nearest forest road we found that Bomman was missing. We immediately went back to the plantation and saw that the elephant had trampled him and crushed his face,” Veluri said.

Though the forest staff immediately took Bomman to the district hospital at Mananthavady he was pronounced dead on reaching there.

Veluri said that Bomman was an experienced watcher who was made permanent staff 1.5 years ago after serving as temporary tribal watcher for over 20 years.

The DFO and team had gone to the plantation to inspect the fallen and dead teak trees which had been marked for auctioning.