Karnataka: Aane Venkatesh, expert in firing tranquilizer darts at elephants, trampled to death by tusker

Venkatesh was attacked when he was trying to dart the injured elephant.
Sharpshooter and elephant darting expert Ane Venkatesh. (Express)
Sharpshooter and elephant darting expert Ane Venkatesh. (Express)

HASSAN: An expert in firing tranquilizer darts at elephants, HH Venkatesh aka Aane Venkatesh, succumbed to injuries after he was attacked by an injured elephant near Alur on Thursday.

Bheema, the 40-year-old tusker who trampled Venkatesh, had injuries on his back. The elephant had sustained injuries during a fight with another tusker in the forest in July.  

A team of doctors had treated the injured animal with the help of two tamed elephants two days ago.

According to a forest official who was present at the spot, Venkatesh was standing 20 ft away from the elephant after darting the animal from the rear. However, the elephant turned back instead of moving ahead and trampled Venkatesh who stumbled and fell to the ground while trying to save himself.

The seriously injured Venkatesh was immediately admitted to HIMS Hospital where he breathed his last at around 2 pm on Thursday.

Venkatesh's body was kept in front of the office of the forest department for senior officials to pay their last respects before it was taken to his native village in Alur taluk.

The forest officials handed over Rs 15 lakh compensation to the next of kin of the diseased.

The funeral will be held in Nagalapura, his native place, on Friday.

The Hassan forest division had taken permission from the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests to tranquilize the injured elephant for treatment.

Bheema had been roaming in and around the border villages with a lot of pain, locals reported. The elephant has not attacked any other person or animal since getting injured.

Venkatesh was working on daily wages for decades as the forest department failed to give him a permanent job.

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The New Indian Express