KOCHI: A wild elephant, which strayed into a tribal colony fell in an open well at Pinavoorkudi under Neriamangalam forest range office on Wednesday.
A team of forest officers rushed to the spot, rescued the animal, and drove it back to the forest. Meanwhile, the local residents surrounded the forest officers and staged a protest demanding to install fencing to protect their lives and property.
The forest officials assured to conduct a meeting at 3 pm on Wednesday after consulting the divisional forest officer.
According to Bineesh Narayanan, a local resident a herd of 8 elephants has been raiding the crops at the colony for the past few weeks and the forest authorities did not initiate steps to drive the herd away despite repeated complaints. The herd entered the colony on Tuesday night and destroyed the crops. A tribal youth had a narrow escape from the marauding herd. The herd continued to stay in the colony the whole night and people stayed indoors fearing attack.
On Wednesday morning the villagers were woken up by the rumblings of elephant. They searched the area and found an elephant in the open well on the farmland of Kottarathil Gopalakrishnan.
On information, a team from Neriyamangalam forest range office led by range officer Joji John and deputy range officer Shyju rushed to the spot and started a rescue operation. "The local residents staged a protest demanding to save them from frequent attacks by elephants. We have assured to conduct a meeting to discuss the problems. The solar fencing in the area has been damaged due to creeper overgrowth which has damaged the power supply," sid range officer Joji John.
The male elephant was around 17 years of age and healthy. Forest authorities brought an excavator, removed the earth and created a ramp for the elephant to climb out of the well. The animal was released in the wild around 11.30 pm.