COIMBATORE: A 19-year-old college student was killed by a wild elephant at Kannampalli, Pandalur, in Nilgiris district on Friday night.
This is the fifth human death caused by wild animals in Gudalur taluk in the last four months. While four people were killed by elephants, one man was killed by a tiger.
The victim, S Shafi, a first-year BBA student of the Bharathiyar University Arts and Science College, and five friends were in a private bamboo forest at Kannampalli, near Cherambadi, when the incident took place at around 9 pm on Friday. They saw a wild elephant at a short distance. Though they ran, the elephant attacked Shafi and one friend, Shanu. In the process, Shafi was injured on his head, neck and spinal cord.
Though local people took them to the Government Hospital at Sultan Bathery, Shafi died on the way. Shanu, who is undergoing treatment, is out of danger, said Forest Department sources.Though Forest officials were doubtful about a wild elephant having killed Shafi, they confirmed it on the basis of the postmortem report. They have taken footprints of the wild elephant from the spot. The police have also confirmed that Shafi was killed by a wild elephant.
The Forest Department has advised the public not to enter forests at night to avoid such incidents. Shafi and his friends had spend about one hour in the private forest on Friday. People should not go near wild animals and should allow them move freely from one area to another, officials said. “We have also asked the district administration to close four TASMAC outlets in Gudalur taluk as tipplers are disturbing wild animals. Chances of human-animal conflict increasing are high. We are yet to get a response on the matter,” said Gudalur District Forest Officer N S Tejaswi.
A large number of police personnel were posted for security in Cherambadi and Pandalur soon after the student was killed. The Forest Department had tranquillised and shifted a wild elephant that had killed three persons. It will soon tranquillise another elephant.