Wild elephants trample farmers to death in Chittoor district

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Inhabitants of hamlets near the border with TN in the grip of fear

Panic seized the hamlets near the Chittoor-Tamil Nadu border after a herd of nine wild elephants fatally attacked a 52-year-old farmer on Thursday morning in the village of Yadamarri Mandal in Tanjavur, 25 km from here.

Local residents said the victim, Valligan, 52, a farmer with speech and hearing impairment, relieved himself at a pond near his fields around 6 a.m. after he had finished his night watch when the attack took place. The farmers in the neighboring fields, who were also preparing to return home, spotted the nine-headed herd of wild elephants which, after emerging from the pond, marched towards the forests of Paradarami (TN). In a few seconds the herd was running towards Valligan, whose backs were turned to them. The peasants shouted to warn him, but in vain.

The Divisional Forest Officer (Chittoor West), who checked with the eyewitnesses, said a male tusk who was leading the herd lifted Valligan in the air and hurled him 20 feet away. The Jumbos who followed their leader trampled him to death while the panicked villagers ran Helter Skelter.

“The deceased could not hear the warnings from his farmers. He also wore a white shirt. It is known that wild elephants get angry when they look at a white object, ”said the DFO.

Financial help

In the meantime, senior revenue, police and forest officials inspected the place. The victim’s body was taken to the government hospital in Chittoor for autopsy.

Puthalapattu MLA MS Babu spoke to the victim’s family members and arranged £ 2 lakh for immediate expenses on behalf of the government. The deceased is survived by his wife, two unmarried daughters and a son.

According to DFO, the herd had been traveling across the Paradarami-Yadamarri forest belt for a month. “We are more concerned because the herd has two young people who often move away from the group, forcing the other members to look for them, crossing the fields that border the woods. We have deployed additional forces from forest observers and elephant chasers in the region, ”he said.

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