Mahout’s Death: Ban on Use of Elephant (Thiruvananthapuram, India)


The Hindu 

Date Published

The Forest Department has prohibited using the tusker, Unnikrishnan,
which trampled its mahout to death a few days ago, for any purpose.

P.K. Jayakumar Sharma, Deputy Conservator of Forests (Social
Forestry), said the elephant should not be used for any purpose for a
period of 15 days from April 6. After that, the elephant will be
examined by a panel comprising the forest veterinary officer and two
veterinarians to assess whether it suffers from physical or mental

“The ban will be lifted only after it has been certified that the
elephant is in its senses and has no ailments. The restriction will
remain in effect if the experts find the animal unfit for routine
chores,” he said.

Other factors

He said the pachyderm could have faced difficulties caused by
stressful conditions, rise in temperature, and fatigue after being
subjected to excessive work. It also might have been transported at
scorching heat after having worked for two or three days at a stretch.
“Under such circumstances, it was only natural for the elephant to
behave in a violent manner,” he said.

Case against owner

The department has registered a case against the elephant owner, V.R.
Madanmohanan Nair. A committee consisting of Divisional Forest
Officer, flying squad; the forest veterinary officer; and the DCF
(Social Forestry); met on Thursday. Further action will be taken on
the basis of a report prepared by compiling their findings.

The elephant had trampled its mahout, 60-year-old Krishnankutty, while
it was taken to the usual spot at Thrikkannapuram to be tethered on

Ban, in place for 15 days from April 6, will be lifted after experts
vouch for the animal’s health