Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Wild animal attacks claim two lives

Wild animal attacks claimed two lives in the forest areas of Ernakulam on Monday.

While Lissie (48), a teacher of the single-teacher school in a tribal hamlet of Kunchipara in Kuttampuzha forest, was gored to death by a wild elephant, Annakutty Joseph (67) was killed in a wild boar attack at Mulankuzhy near Malayattoor.

The elephant attack took place at around 7.30 a.m. when the teacher, accompanied by two tribals, Chinnama and Rajamma, was returning home at Mamalakandam near Kuttampuzha. The elephant, which came from behind, chased the women to some distance. While the other women managed to run away, Lissie could not escape the animal.

After knocking her down, the animal went after the tribals only to return to the spot. The pachyderm dragged the body of the victim to some distance and later retreated to the forest. The body of the victim was later recovered.

The incident took place at Swamikuthu Elephant corridor located between Kallerimedu and Kunjippara tribal colony.

There is regular movement of vehicles through the forest route and passengers often encounter wild animals including elephants in the sector. Human-elephant conflicts were a regular feature in the area, said A.M. Soman, Range Officer, Kuttampuzha Forest Range.

Two months ago, elephants had attacked a tribal, who had ventured into the forest to collect honey. The tribal, who sustained serious injuries in the attack, died after weeks of medical treatment. Though the residents are worried about the frequent elephant attacks, the area cannot be fenced as it falls in the elephant corridor.

In another instance, a wild boar attacked an elderly lady, who went to the forest to collect firewood.

Though she was rushed to a nearby hospital, her life could not be saved. The animal, tranquilised by a forest veterinary surgeon, was later released into the forest, said M.P. Saseendran, Forest Range officer, Kalady.

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