Workers in Kerala tried to use an earthmover to drive away an elephant, and now the elephant is dead. The story in the Manorama News says the elephant in Munnar, Kerala, had been causing problems in the area for three months. It had destroyed vehicles, nearly hurt a motorcycle rider and wandered into a factory.
That's when a worker tried to drive the elephant away with an earth mover, or as some would say, a backhoe. A television station posted video of the confrontation.
But now the elephant has been found dead, and authorities have seized the earthmover as part of the investigation.
Here is what Rajeev N. Kurup wrote about it on Facebook:
"Post-mortem report says the animal died of internal bleeding. It adds that the elephants internal organs sustained injuries after being hit by the earthmover. The driver and the vehicle have been taken into custody. This happened Munnar,Kerala., Tata estate.
"The wild Tusker died due to injuries when it was hit by the JCB escavator blade on its forehead.
"The latest victim of this is our Great Tusker "Chilli Komban," known for being calm and harmless ,according to locals and watchers. It was seen as one of the hero tuskers of Munnar.
He had been near the Chenduvurai factory under KDHP , since last 3 days and was being chased from all over, though it had stood harmless. 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. This had clearly hit the tusker , leading to its sudden fall in physical condition. It was then reported dead in the same area."
Note that Kurup says the incident happened on a Tata estate. We found Tata to be one of the best agriculturalists when it came to co-existing with elephants. But some are pointing their finger at the company with regard to this death.
This is more evidence that human-elephant conflict continues to grow in India.
Dr. Thomas Grant
Professor of Journalism at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College