BHUBANESWAR/ANGUL: A trained elephant of Chandaka forest used in tranquillising tigress Sundari, trampled a villager to death at a forest near Purunakote range office in Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Angul district on Thursday.
The deceased was identified as 39-year-old Sudhir Pradhan of Matia Sahi. According to officials, the elephant Jasoda's mahout had provided fodder and tied her to a tree in the forest. The mahout also cautioned the villagers not to venture close to the jumbo.
However, Pradhan approached Jasoda with the intention of feeding her banana leaves and the elephant attacked him. Sources said, Pradhan was barred from going near but he apparently ignored the advice. He died on the spot.
Elephant Jasoda had reached Satkosia Tiger Reserve on November 3 and joined the tranquillisation team from Sunday. It was accompanied by more than 20 forest personnel and doctors in the mission.
Official sources said, Jasoda and Sundari had come face to face four times but tranquillisation could not take place as the tigress was not in a position to be shot at. Eventually, forest officials managed to tranquillise Sundari, brought from Madhya Pradesh, as part of tiger re-introduction programme in the TR, on November 6.
In 2015, Jasoda had attacked mahout of another elephant at Nandankanan Zoological Park on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. The trained female elephant had chased the mahout before lifting him on her trunk and throwing him on the ground. The man had sustained serious injuries.