BENGALURU: Taking a selfie with an elephant proved costly for a 28-year-old youth at the Bannerghatta Biological Park on Tuesday evening. Abhilash V, a resident of Gavipuram near Basavanagudi, was trampled to death by the elephant Sundar in the park.
Abhilash and his friends came on their bikes around evening on Tuesday, which is a holiday for the park. They sneaked in via the Hakkipikki colony from Kaggalipura main road.
Police said the youths parked their bikes and two of them went to explore while the other two stayed back to drink liquor. Abhilash and his friend spotted the elephant Sundar and began to take selfies. The other friend stood at a distance.
Suddenly out of the blue, Sundar pulled Abhilash and trampled him. The friend, who witnessed this, rushed to the other two friends. They panicked and fled the scene. On their way outside, they told residents staying in the park quarters that a man had been trampled inside the park.
Around 7.30 pm, a mahout, Naganna reached the spot and alerted forest officials. Officials then filed a case of trespassing against the youths.
The body was shifted to Victoria hospital for post-mortem. Bannerghatta police concurred it was a selfie death looking at the photos in the mobile phone and are verifying call records to identify Abhilash’s friends who were with him at the time of the incident, a police officer said.
Abhilash was the only son of Vasanthkumar, a BMTC conductor. He was working with a mobile phone SIM distribution company in Koramangala and had recently quit.
Raju, a relative told Express Abhilash did not inform his family about his frequent forest trips. He had befriended mahouts on his frequent visits, he added.
A senior police officer from Bannerghatta police said the youths appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and action will be taken against three youths. “We also gathered some information from some locals about their movements and bike details. A Honda Activa scooter and a mobile phone belonging to Abhilash were found at the spot,” he added.
In July 2012, Satwik Shastry, a 24-year-old techie, was found trampled to death by wild elephants inside the park. He too had trespassed along with his friends.