COIMBATORE: A day after a seven-year-old tribal girl at Navamalai near Pollachi was killed by a startled elephant, a 55-year-old man lost his life to the same animal on Saturday night. While the girl had unwittingly walked in on the elephant looking for food and startled it in the process, this man – against direct instructions from Forest staff – was standing outside his hut to watch the jumbo being chased away and was trampled by the tusker.
The incident happened around 11 pm on Saturday, when 12 Forest staff were trying to divert the elephant back into the forest. The operation was being carried out close to the house of K Mahali of Navamalai. Even as Forest staff warned him to get into the house, the man reportedly refused and stayed put. He was the trampled to death by the tusker. Mahali’s friend, Thandabani, who had also been standing outside managed to escape when he paid heed to the officials’ words and went into the house. Mahali was reportedly drunk.
Following the two deaths, the tribals gathered in protest on Saturday night and demanded that the department capture the animal. They dispersed only after assurance of talks with senior Revenue and Forest officials.