TIRUPATI: The mahout of an elephant attached to the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara was seriously injured when the pachyderm tossed him away at Tirumala here after being frightened by the sound of a bursting baloon.
Hill temple Deputy Executive Officer Kodanda Rama Rao told PTI that the elephant hit the mahout with its trunk after being frightened by the sound of bursting of a baloon carried by a devotee's child. The mahout was tossed up, fell on a nearby grill gate and was seriously injured, he said.
He was immediately rushed to Orthopedic Super Specialty Hospital of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) which manages the hill shrine, he said.
The incident occurred when two elephants Lakshmi and Avanija with two mahouts were on their way to the shrine to participate in an evening ritual conducted outside the hill shrine daily, he added. Hospital sources said the mahout's leg was fractured and he had injuries on his body. However he was out of danger, they said.