A man was trampled to death by a tusker near Garighatta village in Alur taluk on Monday morning. Swamy Gowda (60), a farmer and an amateur theatre artist, had gone to his farm to give fodder to his cattle when he encountered a lone tusker. The wild elephant is said to be part of a herd that entered parts of Alur from Kodlipete in Kodagu district.
Swamy Gowda had no chance of escaping as the elephant pushed him to a tree and then trampled him to death. By the time neighbours noticed the incident, he was dead. Officers of the Forest Department also rushed to the spot. Swamy Gowda is survived by his wife and three children.
M.L. Manjunath, Deputy Conservator of Forests, told The Hindu, “It is an unfortunate incident. There was no information about elephants moving around Garighatta village,” he said. Alur-Sakaleshpur MLA H.K. Kumaraswamy, who also met the family of the deceased, handed over a cheque of Rs. 2 lakh to Sarojamma, wife of the deceased farmer. The family is entitled to Rs.5 lakh of compensation. The remaining amount would be paid once the post-mortem report is available, the officer said.
Parts of Alur and Sakaleshpur taluks are known for man-elephant conflicts. There has been a demand for a permanent solution to this problem. In 2014, the department captured 23 elephants and shifted them to different locations.
For last few days, residents of Sakaleshpur town have been a worried lot as a herd of nine elephants camped in a coffee estate near Anemahal on the outskirts of the town. According to latest reports, the herd has started moving away from the town. “The herd was last seen near Vaduru village. We took efforts to drive them away on Sunday evening,” the DFO added.