Residents turn to elephant god to end jumbo deaths (Coimbatore, India)


MK Ananth, The Hindu

Date Published


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When Vikas Muntot wanted to do something, agitated as he was over the frequent elephant deaths in Coimbatore, he looked to none other than the elephant-headed God for help.

The 22-year-old businessman from Rajasthan, who has made the city his home, organised aMaha Ganapathy Yagam (special prayer to Lord Vinayaga) on Friday, seeking divine intervention to end the deaths of jumbos

Seven elephants died between June 20 and July 5 in and around Coimbatore, under different circumstances – ranging from train and bus accidents to illness.

Five of them died in Coimbatore and two in The Nilgiris.

It was not just young Mr. Muntot, but several others who saw the frequent death of elephants as a bad omen. They offered prayers hoping that the bad phase elephants in the region were going through will end.

Mahagapanthi Yagna was performed at Maangadu Devi Sri Karumariamman temple located on Addis Street near Nehru Stadium in the heart of Coimbatore city.

Forest and agriculture departments, farmers, non-governmental organisations and line departments are trying to come up with a method to prevent elephant deaths and human-animal conflicts along the vast stretch of agricultural lands and habitations bordering the forests.

“On my part, I organised this Maha Ganapathy Yagam ,” says Mr. Muntot told The Hindu .

With pictures of elephants, the pooja was performed with 108 Mothagam Kozhukattai (sweets), a variety of fruits and sugarcane that the jumbos prefer.

Vikas made an appeal to the government and the Forest department to make arrangements for food and water in the forest for elephants.

“Encroachments in the forest areas also have to be removed by the authorities. Even wild elephants are docile and they will not come our way unless we disturb them. We make them our enemies by lighting crackers,” he said.