PALAKKAD: A mahout was killed in the early hours of Tuesday after an elephant brought to a mosque at Melarcode for a ‘nercha’ ceremony ran amok.
The deceased was identified as Kannan, 35, son of Velayudhan of Alangat Parambu Kootalayil, Kannadashamkadavu, in Thrissur.
The elephant named ‘Ookens Kunju’ was brought to the Melarcode Cheenikode Theruvu Masthan Ouliya mosque by the Old Andithara Nercha Committee.
The elephant ran amok at 3 am. Kannan was loosening the chains on the elephant’s legs to take it for ‘ezhunellippu’ (ceremonial procession). Set to be caparisoned for the ‘nercha’, the elephant was reportedly in musth (a periodic condition in male elephants). It grabbed Kannan with the trunk, hit him on the ground and pierced him with the tusks.
After killing the mahout, the elephant stood near Kannan’s body for two hours. The body could be removed from the spot only after the elephant moved away. Once the body was removed, the elephant went on the rampage again.
It uprooted a mango tree, jackfruit tree and a few teak trees in the vicinity. A thatched hut, belonging to C C Kumaran, and the urinal and water tank in a nearby compound were also damaged.
The elephant squad from Palakkad and Thrissur were brought in to chain the elephant but the effort failed.
A team led by veterinarians Dr Rajeev and Dr Ponnumani arrived at 8 am and shot a tranquiliser, enabling the elephant to be chained around 10.30 am. Alathur CI K A Elizabeth, SI S Aneesh, ASI Sundaran and senior civil police officer Ummer helped bring the situation under control.